Interesting that Yahoo and T-Mobile are linking up today (here’s the gist of their announcement at 3GSM):
Yahoo! has today announced a partnership with T-Mobile to offer Yahoo!’s oneSearch to the operator’s European subscribers. Today’s announcement follows on from a deal in January this year to offer the Yahoo! mobile search tool to T-Mobile’s UK/European customers. From the beginning of March, T-Mobile’s European customers will have easy and accurate access to news, financial information, weather conditions, photos, Web images, and Web and Mobile Web sites. In a second announcement, Yahoo! Revealed that its oneSearch technology now powers search services from 29 operators for more than 600m users around the world. … This agreement sets the stage for Yahoo! oneSearch to become the exclusive mobile search service for T-Mobile customers… The two companies also plan to work together to bring additional Yahoo! services including Flickr, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Weather and Yahoo! Finance to T-Mobile customers.
Of course, T-Mobile doesn’t make handsets like Apple, so my comparison in the headline is not quite correct. But what this does indicate is that T-Mobile is trying to blind-side any uppity handset makers – like Nokia or even Apple, its iPhone supplier in Germany – from generating the next wave of mobile Web services which will be the real brands we gravitate to, not mobile carriers.