The Summly summary of her earnings comments last night at the end was a stroke of PR brilliance. There was a lot of criticism of the Summly deal as a PR stunt. It seems clear that Yahoo! got some valuable IP from SRI International as part of the deal. If Yahoo! wants to cozy up to Apple (and why wouldn't they?), it'll need to help with Siri and Summly will help. I think Web Services is already a key battleground area going forward and Yahoo! can play a role here -- especially if it helps out Apple, who definitely needs help. There is a Chinese mobile phone company called Xiaomi that sells its phones at cost (or even a small loss). The company freely admits that and says it wants to make money on the services. But this isn't just something affecting the low-end phone makers. Samsung needs to differentiate from Android, Apple and now Facebook Home. What's going to be different about these phones? The services.
In my view, this is a big blind spot for Apple. It has the cash to buy both Twitter and Yahoo! and that would totally change the landscape for mobile phone competition. If I was Tim Cook, I'd put Marissa Mayer in charge to run it and try and ensure that the cultures of Twitter and Yahoo! was left alone from the rest of Apple. They are very different cultures. Yahoo!'s stock getting the Amazon treatment? Who would have expected that six months ago? At the time of publication the author was long YHOO.Follow @ericjacksonThis article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.