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Yahoo targets SE Asia via feature phones

Sheila Lam | Oct. 25, 2011
While all major players like Google and Microsoft are eyeing the smart phones markets, Yahoo diverts its distribution towards the traditional smart feature phones.

While all major players like Google and Microsoft are eyeing the smart phones markets, Yahoo diverts its distribution towards the traditional smart feature phones. At the recent AsiaD Conference in Hong Kong organized by AllThingsD, Rose Tsou SVP of Yahoo Asia Pacific said the company expects the traditional feature-phone as an important platform to bring mobile Internet in many Asia markets.

"Mobile will be critical for the development of consumer tech in Asia," said Tsou. "There is still a lot $100 phone can do."

Although smart phone is a hot battlefield in many developed markets, feature-phones are expected to excel in developing markets like South East Asia and India. To continue to develop Yahoo's presence in Asia, she noted the company has established a partnership with mobile chipset manufacturer MediaTek in June.

While the partnership allows Yahoo's Internet services to be embedded in MediaTek's middleware, MAUI Runtime Environment (MRE), within its mobile chipsets, Yahoo also expects to bring its own contents to its audiences in South East Asia through those phones.

Handset manufacturers that produce feature phones with these chipsets will be able to run Yahoo's Internet services smoothly, said Yahoo, adding that MediaTek has been working closely with handset brands such as Cherry Mobile in the Philippines, Spice Group in India, Nexian in Indonesia to develop products based on the MRE technology.

"The mobile Internet presents a wealth of opportunity for Yahoo," said Tsou. "Our partnership with MediaTek will further connect us with our audiences in growing markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam and India where new to Internet users are coming online for the first time through their mobile devices."

 

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