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One of the first changes to iOS 8 that beta testers noticed was that Yahoo, long the source of Apple's data for its default Weather app, had been ousted by The Weather Channel. At the time, some commentators wondered if it was a simple mistake. But according to Re/code, the switch was all part of a plan by Weather Channel CEO David Kenny, formerly a Yahoo board member, to wrest the high-profile logo placement from his former company.
It sounds more than a little sneaky considering Kenny's former position, but the move makes sense in many ways. Yahoo has always pulled its data from The Weather Channel; all Kenny's move has done is cut out the middleman. Kenny reportedly even negotiated the deal by tossing in the improvements we see in the current beta version, such as a nine-day forecast (up from five) and a new weather summary with information previously withheld from the app.
The move must sting all the more as Yahoo has reportedly been in talks to increase its presence in iOS. In fact, just last April Yahoo was attempting to convince Apple to make it the default search engine on the Cupertino company's mobile operating system. Somehow, however, Yahoo's seemingly "safe" arrangement with the Weather app slipped through.
"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 an unnamed Yahoo exec, who also stated that the company acted too late to save the deal. "It’s a high-profile loss."
Already commentators are starting to wonder if Apple will continue the same trend elsewhere, most notably in the iOS Stocks app, which also draws its information directly from Yahoo. If Tim Cook and friends decide to cut out Yahoo in the same way there, iOS 8 could start pulling its data from Reuters or similar services.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.