Nokia and Yahoo team up: Does anyone care?

Nokia and Yahoo are teaming up to take on Android and Apple in the mobile phone realm. Is anyone out there excited?

Screw Android 2.2. Forget the new iPhone. Nokia and Yahoo have some news.

Nokia and Yahoo, in case you haven't heard, have just announced a new mobile partnership. The two companies will join forces to "offer people rich experiences that keep them connected to their world and the world around them."

Translated out of PR speak, that means you'll soon find Yahoo's mail and instant messaging services preinstalled on Nokia phones. And Nokia will soon power Yahoo's maps and navigation services.


Nokia and Yahoo's Mobile Partnership

The Nokia-Yahoo alliance is an attempt for the two companies to better compete in the mobile market, at least in terms of America: Though Nokia performs well internationally, its phones struggle to compete with the likes of Apple, Android, and RIM here in the States. And Yahoo -- well, we all know about Yahoo.

So it's understandable that the two yahoos -- Yahoo and Nokia, that is -- would want some help. But it's hard to imagine that turning to each other is going to make much difference.

Regardless of what kind of cell phone fanboy you are, there's plenty of exciting innovation in the air these days. Android is growing in leaps and bounds, with Google's revelation of its new Froyo operating system fueling the fire. And ol' Stevie J. over at Apple is up to his old e-mail tricks again, reportedly telling iPhone-lovers they "won't be disappointed" with what he has up his sleeve for this year's upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference.

But when's the last time you've heard anyone get excited about anything on the way from Nokia? Or Yahoo?

Can you imagine this conversation taking place at a cell phone retailer this summer?

Customer: "Gosh, I just can't decide which phone to get. The latest Droid is awesome, but the new iPhone looks pretty cool, too."

Salesperson: "Well, sir, this Nokia 5230 now features built-in Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger."

Customer: "HOLY HAMBURGERS! Forget those other phones. Give me Nokia NOW!"

Even the "holy hamburgers" exclamation seems more plausible than the sudden interest in a Nokia-Yahoo device.

But hey, maybe I'm missing something. Maybe Yahoo has some grand plan up its sleeve to turn Nokia into a U.S. mobile market leader. You know, like inserting misplaced exclamation points into its slogans. Or encouraging its executives to publicly offer business advice to companies that outperform them.

If I were Google or Apple right now, I'd certainly be shaking in my boots. With laughter, that is.

Good times, Yahoo. Good times.

JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the co-founder of eSarcasm. He's on Facebook:

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JR Raphael

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