European Mobile News: Yahoo! and MSFT

There were two releases today concerning mobile and Europe. First, Yahoo! rolled out its WAP-based oneSearch in Western Europe (UK, Italy, Spain, France and Germany) and Canada. And Microsoft purchased mobile ad platform provider ScreenTonic, which it intends to deploy globally.

Since the introduction of oneSearch in the U.S., replacing traditional Yahoo! WAP search, I find myself using it more and dividing my time roughly equally between Google WAP search and Yahoo. In my own observation of my mobile behavior I tend to use Yahoo oneSearch for local category searches, GOOG411, Tellme and Jingle for numbers when I’m driving and the Google Maps application (to a lesser degree the MSFT Live Search application) for directions and cross streets.

(I’m not a fan of SMS so I basically don’t use the text sites, though this is where most of the mobile data usage is today.)

My usage of multiple sites and applications is something of a metaphor for mobile itself: nobody has yet put together all the pieces in a single site or application, which may not be possible given all the different handsets and use cases.

My recent post on consumer research in mobile conducted by SEM firm iCrossing captures the current state of consumer behavior in mobile. The big “takeaways” from that study were:

  • consumers are using mobile search, correlated with smartphone adoption,
  • their online brand and usage preferences are apparently translating to mobile (to the detriment of carriers) and
  • local information is the most desired type of mobile content

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