So here’s something pretty strange.
Apple’s new weather app for the iPhone looks almost identical to Yahoo’s weather app.
See for yourself (continue reading after the image…):
Apple has pretty much made Yahoo’s weather app obsolete.
Why would anyone download Yahoo’s app? It’s almost exactly the same thing as Apple’s.
This stands out to me because CEO Marissa Mayer’s big vision for Yahoo is mobile.
She’s fond of pointing out that people check email, check weather, get news, get stock quotes, check sports scores, get entertainment news, share photos, communicate with groups, and ask questions on their smartphones.
Those are all things Yahoo does well on the web. In mobile its been a laggard.
She’s trying to fix that.
One of the biggest successes for Mayer was the redesign of the weather app, which won an award from Apple for design. (Kind of ironic, no? Either Apple just ripped off Yahoo’s design, or Apple came up with the same design and then basically gave itself an award.)
But, the Apple weather app shows the risk of her vision. Apple already crushed her weather app. Apple’s native email app is a big threat to Yahoo’s email app.
If Mayer really wants to succeed in mobile she’s going to have to create new categories not just iterate on the existing categories.
In her defence though, Yahoo is in turnaround. All turnarounds start somewhere, and building a good looking app, even if it’s not a money maker is a good first step.
Instead of seeing the weather app as a make or break, it’s probably better to think of it as a foundation for what’s to come.
UPDATE: In the comments, people are making some good points (mix with some insults). Some are saying Yahoo just did the design for Apple and they’re close partners. Entirely possible, and a smart relationship to establish for the long run.
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