Yelp, T-Mobile Team Up For Customized App

Yelp and T-Mobile announced last week that “a customized version of the Yelp mobile app” will now be pre-loaded on select Android devices. Those include the Samsung Exhibit II 4G, T-Mobile myTouch and T-Mobile myTouch Q smartphones.

Here’s the customized part:

The Yelp app for T-Mobile Android devices features new advanced filters to make searching for a business easier and faster. Additionally, there is a new “saved search” functionality, which allows users to save search filter settings (e.g. open now, free wifi, price range, and outdoor seating) and use the same criteria over and over without having to re-enter the specific filters, for frequent searches.

Yelp and T-Mobile will jointly market the feature/app in selected US cities, with giveaways and promotions at Yelp Elite parties and elsewhere. This is obviously good for Yelp (for branding/awareness purposes more than usage). It’s less clear whether it will have any concrete benefits for T-Mobile.

T-Mobile and Sprint are “value carriers” in the US. Having trouble competing for “contract customers,” T-Mobile is shifting somewhat to focus more on the pre-paid market with aggressive pricing and 4G promotion. There may be alignment between T-Mobile’s target demographic audiences and Yelp’s brand appeal. About 75% of Yelps users are under 50.

Yelp said it has 5 million mobile app users. Overall Yelp claims 63 million monthly users and 22 million reviews, on a global basis. T-Mobile has roughly 34 million US subscribers.

AT&T has bid $39 billion for T-Mobile USA but the US sued to block the transaction (so have others). AT&T is fighting to still acquire the company. For its part, the fourth largest US wireless carrier has no “plan B” should the takeover ultimately fail, which is more likely than not at this stage.

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