iOS 8 includes a revamped Weather app that removes Yahoo as the data provider in favour of The Weather Channel. The change won’t mean much to the average user, but for Yahoo it could be a huge cause of concern.
While Yahoo is a data provider for iOS 7 and older versions of the Weather app, it internally sourced its data from The Weather Channel, essentially acting as a middleman. Apple’s deal eliminates this middleman, and lets the company directly deal with The Weather Channel. This deal was engineered by Weather Channel CEO David Kenny, who offered Apple much more lucrative terms than Yahoo.
To convince Apple to make the shift and cut Yahoo out of the middle, the Weather Channel added a lot more technology and information to the offering that it does not provide to Yahoo. That includes more weather specificity related to the location of a user, a nine-day forecast (up from five), a weather-conditions summary and more.
As we noted in our earlier post about iOS 8’s Weather app:
iOS 8 also allows users to scroll down for a location to get information such as humidity, chance of rain, wind speed, precipitation, feels like, sunrise and sunset time, pressure etc. In iOS 7, you can access humidity, chance of rain, wind speed and feels like by tapping on the temperature.
Under new CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s refocused the company around creating mobile-based products, and its deal with Apple for providing data to the Weather app was quite an important one as it gets the company a lot of traffic on its network of sites.
Yahoo has another deal with Apple for providing data for the Stocks app, but with Weather Channel’s move, competitors are now looking to convince Apple to use their data instead of Yahoo’s in the app:
What some inside the company are worried about next is the fate of the stock app it also provides to Apple’s mobile device, which some think could be next to go in favor of other providers such as Bloomberg, CNBC or Reuters.
“Others now see an in,” said one person with knowledge of the situation. “Getting on these key mobile platforms is a must-have for Yahoo, since it does not have a phone, and now that status is vulnerable.”
These announcements come just a few months after Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer was persuading Apple to make Yahoo the default iOS search engine. These talks didn’t move forward, as Apple showed new Safari and Spotlight features at WWDC with Google as the default search engine.