By Rip Empson
Last week, Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), one of biggest search and advertising companies in Russia, announced that it would be teaming up with Microsoft, Nokia, HTC and Samsung to become the default search engine on both new and upcoming Windows Phones in Russia. This followed the news last month that Yandex is also set to become the search provider for bada-powered smartphones in Russia and the CIS. It’s been a good last few months for Yandex, as Robin pointed out last week, the company has steadily grown its share of the Russian search market to a point where it now owns 62.7 percent of the market in Q3 2011 — ahead of Google.
Today, the Russian search giant has announced another strategic move in its mobile strategy, as it has acquired SPB Software, a developer of mobile software that makes its home in Russia, Taiwan, and Thailand. As for the price, sources close to the deal say that it was set at approximately $38 million.
SPB was founded in 1999 and was originally focused on making applications and software for Android and Windows mobile devices, from games to productivity apps, but has since become cross-platform, and today offers a more robust suite of mobile solutions. These products include a mobile wallet, data traffic analytics, games, web TV integration, a mobile UI builder, etc.
But, according to Yandex Spokesman Ochir Mandzhikov, what was particularly of interest was the company’s new mobile UI engine for both smartphones and tablets, especially SPB’s “Shell 3D” product, which will be used to integrate Yandex’s cloud services and technologies. This is an important play for Yandex because it allows the company to integrate their search and ad services into a UI which can then be distributed across a multitude of mobile platforms. What’s more, using SPB’s mobile UI builder and toolset, OEMS and brands can customize skins, layout, widgets and 3D animation.
For more on SPB, visit them at home, and for more on SPB Shell 3D, check out the video below: