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Mayer Hitching Yahoo!'s Wagon to Apple's Star

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Yahoo! (YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer has said partnerships are the way for Yahoo! to go. It's increasingly looking like the major partner is Apple (AAPL).

Yahoo! continued its acquisition streak today, announcing it acquired GhostBirdSoft, a maker of advanced iOS photography apps, to continue improving Flickr, which it recently revamped.

At Apple's developer conference, Apple unveiled a revamped weather app as part of iOS 7, which looks nearly identical to Yahoo!'s new weather app, which was unveiled in April.

Yahoo! already provides the details for Apple's weather app, which was a source of contention on Yahoo!'s latest earnings call. CEO Marissa Mayer was asked if Yahoo! could do anything more with the weather app.

"With any platform shift, revenue always follows users, and Mobile will be no different," Mayer said on the call. "Smart monetization of this usage is inevitable. We intend to participate fully in the innovation and experimentation required to make Mobile a material part of our business."

While Yahoo! didn't give away the entire app to Apple, it did give more than the little yBang (the Yahoo! logo) at the bottom. It's not known exactly why Yahoo! didn't give all the data to Apple, but perhaps this is part of Mayer's plan to improve monetization of existing properties she believes are important to Yahoo!'s future.

Mayer and Apple's management recently met on how the two companies could collaborate further. The revamped Weather and Flickr apps, along with the GhostBirdSoft purchase and the Summly acquisition continue to show that the relationship between the two Silicon Valley stalwarts is strengthening, as they take on common competitors, including Google (GOOG).

Apple is increasingly trying to focus on Web services, as it looks to beef up its iOS offerings. The developer conference showcased that fact, as it announced iTunes Radio, along with an advanced version of Apple Maps and the weather app. Yahoo! has strengths in Web services, and an exceptionally strong user base, approximately 700 million users per month to Yahoo!'s various properties.

Given the fact that Mayer has said in the past she expects to update Yahoo!'s mobile offerings more frequently in the future, it's certainly a possibility that the majority of these applications will be updated for iOS first, as Yahoo! and Apple continue to work closer together.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York.

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