When iOS 8 launches this fall, Apple will be using a new weather app on the iPhone and the iPad. According to Kara Swisher of Re/code, Apple has ditched Yahoo's weather services in favor of the Weather Channel.
Yahoo is the provider of Apple's weather information for many years. It was a deal that allowed Yahoo to amass generous amounts of traffic and downloads. The irony, Swisher says, is that the Weather Channel is actually powering Yahoo's weather app, doing the hard work at the back end.
Apple may have finally figured out a better solution: to eliminate the conduit. Why use Yahoo when Apple can directly utilize the Weather Channel?
According to Swisher, Weather Channel CEO David Kenny led an aggressive campaign to undercut Yahoo. Kenny, a former board member at Yahoo, convinced Apple to make the shift by adding more technology to Weather Channel's services.
Improvements such as weather-condition summaries, more accurate weather information, 9-day weather forecasts, and many more, served as baits to Apple.
It didn't help when Yahoo failed to renew leases to strategic ocean-front properties which were crucial to providing accurate weather data. The Weather Channel grabbed the opportunity and rented the properties.
“Yahoo had been renting ocean-front property for years and did not realize the lease was up, and the Weather Channel slipped right in and took it,” a Yahoo executive said.
It's a huge loss for Yahoo, considering that a huge chunk of its 400 million active monthly mobile users is coming from Apple. The traffic alone matters because it keeps Yahoo's properties alive. But the blow will be harder for Marissa Mayer, who has been working hard to integrate Yahoo's products into Apple's iDevices.
In April, we wrote about Mayer's secret plan to convince Apple to use the Yahoo as its default search engine on the Safari browser. Re/code was the first to break the news.
As it stands, Google is the default search engine on Safari, although users can change it by adjusting the settings. If Yahoo can pull it off, it will be a game changer for the Internet giant. However, at WWDC, Apple appeared to have opted for Microsoft Bing to power its new Spotlight feature.
It's worth noting that in 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo signed a 10-year deal that will allow Bing to power Yahoo's search engine. In return, Yahoo will steam ads on Bing, with Yahoo getting 88 percent of the revenue from ad sales. Given the case, it's another irony for Yahoo.
Earlier this year, it was rumored that Yahoo is planning to end its long-term partnership with Microsoft.
Meanwhile, Yahoo executives are worried about the fate of the company's other apps. Similar to its weather app, the Yahoo stock app also gets its data from other providers.