Yahoo Weather enters storm with only design as a defence

There was a great story on re/code about how Apple’s iOS8 has replaced Yahoo’s weather app with one from the Weather Channel.  This is an embarrassing loss for the purple icon.

The real value of Yahoo Weather isn’t in its fancy design; it’s in its data and distribution.  Neither of which belonged to Yahoo.  The data for weather was provided by — you guessed it — the Weather Channel, who unsurprisingly supplied better data for its own app.

Apple provided the bulk of the distribution.  Marissa Mayer wants “daily habits” to be the cornerstone of Yahoo’s strategy, but in this case iPhone users didn’t have a daily habit of using Yahoo Weather; their daily habit is to use whatever weather app Apple provided.  Discovery remains the biggest challenge of the apps business and Yahoo Weather is no exception to it.

Yahoo Weather has a nice design…but it didn’t matter much

When Apple decided to switch support to the Weather Channel all that Yahoo was left with is a nice frontend design.  Design can make a big difference, but as we see in Yahoo Weather’s case, it’s not always enough.

Despite Yahoo Weather winning an Apple Design Award in 2013, Apple still preferred to partner with someone else.

weather 1

Weather Channel app has better data, an adequately nice design and now the distribution

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