Of the many announcements made at Apple’s recent Worldwide Developers Conference, one that did not garner as much attention concerned the pre-installed weather app on the iPhone.
The look, feel and data has been provided to Apple by Yahoo for many years, part of a deal that sends a lot of traffic back to the Internet portal and spurs a multitude of downloads of its own handsome weather app. So attractive, in fact, that the refurbishment of it was much touted by CEO Marissa Mayer and was well received by reviewers and users.
But in the fall, Yahoo’s weather relationship with Apple will be blown off the device, a development that is a big miss for Mayer, who has aggressively pushed the company’s mobile efforts as a key part of its turnaround.
That development is due to a very crafty deal engineered by former Yahoo board member and Weather Channel CEO David Kenny, who has essentially blown Yahoo off the key smartphone to be replaced by a new offering that he has been developing since he took over the weather news and information service last year. With it, he has unseated Yahoo from its important perch.
The irony? Yahoo’s weather app and services have long been powered by the Weather Channel, part of a longtime partnership it has had with the Silicon Valley Internet giant. In simple terms, Yahoo had slapped a pretty chrome cover on it and Weather Channel provided the more substantive back end and critical weather data.
I always found the weather information provided by the app to not always be accurate even when it was pouring with rain and had been for an hour or so – the app would still say the area I was in was currently cloudy. Let’s hope the Weather Channel provides more accurate information – it should do.