Can Mayer Boost Yahoo’s Mobile Strength?

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer is really trying to turn things around for the company. Most recently, her efforts have turned to Yahoo’s mobile endeavors, which she plans to trim down.

As Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) has already put out Android, the most popular smartphone operating system, Yahoo has undeniably fallen behind its big-time search rival. To make matters worse, Yahoo seems to have an uncommon problem further holding back its growth in the new medium: too many apps for mobile devices.

The plan, as Mayer has stated, is to narrow down the portfolio to between 12 and 15 different mobile applications. Yahoo has previously had as many as 75 different apps, which proved overwhelming for its 200 million-plus users.

Streamlining its app business should allow for stronger apps and make it easier for users to find just what they are seeking without needing to download too many different apps. The company will likely maintain apps for email, news, finance, and entertainment, among others…

While it’s busy paring down its app portfolio, Yahoo is also working to enhance its mobile strategy and development. Mobile is an important area for the company’s growth, so it is likely to hire more engineers with specializations in mobile development. Yahoo took a step in this direction Tuesday with the acquisition of app-maker Alike, making it the fourth acquisition since Mayer joined Yahoo seven months ago.

Mayer had been with Google for 13 years as a top executive — meaning she was there through the development of Google’s own mobile platform — so her understanding of mobile should pay off for the company. She’s already proven to be quite the lucky charm, as once-falling shares have turned around to rise 36 percent since she joined the company. Mayer even ended a slump in annual revenue that lasted three years, so her ability to turn things around for the company is already tangible.

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