|Apple and Yahoo are discussing ways to bring more of Yahoo's best features to Apple's iOS platform, the Wall Street Journal reports. While the two companies are already working together on various projects -- the default Stock and Weather apps on iOS devices are powered by Yahoo, its search engine is an option in Safari, and its sports stats are incorporated into Siri -- the idea may be to continue Apple's move away from Google services wherever possible. This may include expanded service offerings and more cooperation.
One obvious area where Yahoo's services could help Apple is in finance. Yahoo maintains a well-regarded business section of its site with standard financial reporting that could be integrated into Siri in a manner similar to the way sports news has been added -- giving the voice-activated assistant a further edge in business and enterprise marketing. Yahoo is also popular for its kids, news and women-oriented pages, among other services. Currently, Apple continues to have Google as the default search engine in its products, but also has the option to allow other services such as Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo among others to be set as the default.
The move would be a potential "win" for both companies, with Yahoo gaining needed exposure through Apple's strong presence in the mobile market, while Apple gets to avoid using direct competitor Google in areas where its not absolutely necessary. Microsoft, which powers Yahoo's search portal, could also stand to gain from any new arrangement, as any expansion may further leverage the company's "Bing" search engine. Siri, which circumvents the need for Google searches except when it cannot find answers in other ways, has been seen as responsible for a small drop in usage of Google's search engine.
The new discussions are said to be headed by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who wants the company to be a bigger player in the mobile-data arena. Apple has already said, however, that it will not sacrifice existing Google relationships where the search and advertising giant still provides the best results, making it unlikely that Apple would replace it as a default in some areas for the foreseeable future. Sources for the story said that no formal "deal" is imminent, just discussions of how best to expand current arrangements into new areas.