Apple, Yahoo Consider a Future, Despite Ties to Google, Microsoft

Apple has a deal with Google, and Yahoo has one with Microsoft. But that isn't stopping them from wondering how they might still work together.

Yahoo and Apple would make for excellent bedfellows. They just need to figure out how to get together.

Apple wants to kick Google's software off its devices. It's been working to nudge YouTube and Google Maps off its iPhone and iPad, but when it comes to search, Google's is the best, and the best is what Apple is all about.

Still, Apple's Siri—which offers spoken answers to spoken questions—relies on data from Yahoo, which relies on Microsoft's Bing search engine.

This offers a Google work-around, but is problematic in that Apple has to deal with Google to make its Search the default on iPhones and iPads, the The Wall Street Journal said in an April 9 report on the ongoing discussions between Apple and Yahoo on how each might meet the other's need.

The report points out that iPhones currently come preloaded with weather and finance apps powered by Yahoo data.

"The companies are discussing new arrangements, including possible deals to get more content from Yahoo news and its other Web properties loaded onto Apple devices or available through an expanded Siri partnership," The Journal added, citing people familiar with the talks.

These people added that the talks were just that for now—no deal is imminent.

If Yahoo offers Apple a Google replacement, Apple can offer Yahoo some of the outlets that it lacks—missing pieces that are exactly why it can be a Google stand-in. Yahoo has no competing operating system, and it doesn't make phones, both of which Google now does.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, in her first televised, sit-down interview as CEO, told Bloomberg Television: "Given that we do not have mobile hardware, a mobile OS, a browser or a social network, how are we going to compete [an employee asked me]. ... Of the four horsemen of the Internet ... almost all of them are playing in one, if not several, of those [media]. I think that the big piece here is that it really allows us to partner.

"Yahoo has always been a very friendly company. We work with Apple and Google in terms of the operating system. In terms of the social network, we have a strong partnership with Facebook. We're able to work with some of these players that have a lot of strength in order to bolster our user experience that we offer on the Yahoo site," Mayer continued.

What Yahoo can offer its partners, Mayer added, is exactly what people already use their phones for most often—emailing, checking the weather, checking sports scores, reading the news, sharing photos and playing games.

The Journal added that, as Yahoo brainstorms to figure out how it might be a bigger asset to Apple, the 10-year deal that it struck in 2009 with Microsoft—which competes with Apple through its mobile OS, app store, tablet and, it's rumored, eventually a smartphone—could stand in the way.