Yahoo's Missed Opportunity with iOS 8 Weather Hints at Uncertain Future in Stocks App
iOS 8 will include a revamped Weather app with data provided by the Weather Channel instead of Yahoo, which previously powered Apple's weather app for years. This switchover of weather services allegedly was masterminded by former Yahoo board member and Weather Channel CEO David Kenny after he assumed his leadership role at the weather information company last year, reports Re/Code.
Kenny allegedly negotiated a deal with Apple that cut Yahoo out of the loop that provided weather data for iOS. In earlier iOS versions, Yahoo was the provider linked in the Weather app, but the actual meteorological data came from the Weather Channel. Kenny lured Apple away from Yahoo by offering a sweeter deal that included additional technology and more robust weather information than was made available to Yahoo. As a result, the Weather app in iOS 8 now includes a nine-day weather forecast, up from five days in iOS 7, details such as sunrise/sunset times and a new "Today" weather summary located at the bottom of the app.
Though Yahoo reportedly was in talks with Apple about featuring Yahoo services more prominently in iOS, the internet company didn't realize the Weather Channel was making a power play for iOS, and let this high-profile deal slip away.
“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,” said a Yahoo exec, who said the company acted too late to save the deal. “It’s a high-profile loss.”
This provider change is a big blow to Yahoo, which as recently as April wanted to increase its role in iOS by making Yahoo the default search engine on iOS.
Apple's decision to drop Yahoo as it weather source also calls into question the search company's future involvement in the iOS Stocks app. Similar to earlier versions of the Weather app, the iOS Stocks app pulls its stock information from Yahoo Finance. Though not confirmed, some believe Apple could choose Bloomberg, CNBC or Reuters over Yahoo for its stock data in future versions of iOS 8.