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As pre-announced at last week’s Marketplaces conference, DexKnows has launched a new line of branded local search products, including an iPhone app.

The line is built and powered by mobilePeople, a company that has built strong applications for a number of European publishers such as Yell and Eniro. This marks its first major move into the U.S. market, where there is growing interest among local media publishers to launch mobile applications. Indeed, Dex’s announcement marks the completion of the top major U.S. Yellow Pages publishers that have branded mobile search apps.

Each of these will be analyzed further in an upcoming TKG report, along with the overall strategy for YP publishers entering mobile search in different ways. For now it’s all about branding, traction and traffic. Bundling targeted mobile marketing with existing local ads will be the name of the game in the future — especially in some categories where phone leads from ready-to-buy mobile searchers will be highly valued.

But before any of that happens, value (engagement) has to be proved and distribution has to be built. There are lots of ways that is coming together, including these branded apps. Tomorrow I’m scheduled to talk to the good folks at Dex and will have a more thorough walk-through of the new product itself. Stay tuned.

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