by Carlo Longino

Yahoo's Mobile Push Continues With Syncing Buy

Yahoo is pushing hard in the mobile space -- it took the wraps off its new mobile search at the beginning of the month, eliciting plenty of claims it was a copycat offering to Google SMS, when in reality, it's a much more powerful service. The news has also emerged that Yahoo bought a mobile syncing startup earlier in the year that makes software to sync up mobile phones with PCs and Web applications -- something that, if successful, could put Yahoo right in the middle of people's digital lives. While sync is often perceived only to pertain to professional users, it's got a growing consumer aspect too, as people's mobile lives grow to include multiple forms of communication beyond voice calls, like instant messaging and email. If nothing else, it holds the promise of eliminating one common consumer complaint: having to manually transfer over contacts when people get a new phone. Derek adds: Add to this move the Yahoo! deal yesterday to get burned into Motorola phones, and you should start to see a pattern of an aggressive company trying to own a large part of the telecom spend. If customers can sync their Yahoo! contacts and buddy lists to a phone, then they can switch carriers with little bother. The buddy list also is the likely starting point of communications, and owning it will be increasingly important. Yahoo! may be a good partner for wireless telcos, but they should also be aware that Yahoo! is a serious competitive threat.

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