NEW YORK — Nokia will run mapping and navigation services for Yahoo in an acknowledgement that the slumping Internet company hasn't kept up with rival Google in the increasingly important area of location services.
Yahoo will, in turn, provide e-mail and instant messaging services on Nokia phones, as part of a worldwide partnership announced Monday.
Yahoo has been working to focus on its core businesses — creating and licensing content, selling online ads and providing messaging services — while turning to partners to run some of its other offerings.
"It just allows us to deliver better experiences than everybody trying to do the same thing," Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said in an interview.
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Last year, the company entered into a 10-year Internet search partnership with Microsoft in an effort to whittle away Google's leadership. On Monday, Yahoo said it will drop its Yahoo Personals brand for its dating service and instead partner with Match.com.
The maps deal with Nokia, the world's No. 1 maker of mobile phones, covers both phones and computers.
Bartz said Yahoo has "chosen to invest in other areas" in recent years. That put the company's navigation services well behind Google, which has continued to innovate.
Google was the first, for example, to offer the now-common feature of letting users move their location on an online map by dragging it with a mouse, rather than repeatedly clicking arrows and waiting for the pages to refresh. More recently, it offered free software that provides spoken-aloud, turn-by-turn directions on phones running its Android system.
Yahoo and Nokia wouldn't disclose financial details of the deal, but they both stand to benefit from the other's reach and expertise. The services will start to become available later this year and be offered worldwide in 2011.