Tired of the Apple/Android duopoly, Telefónica partners with Microsoft

Telefónica signs deal with Microsoft to promote sales of Windows Phone 8 in six countries

REUTERS/Juan Medina
A man walks past Telefonica's building in central Madrid. The Spain-based Telefónica is the fifth-largest mobile operator, according to its website.

In the world of smart phones, two brand names have come to dominate the industry: Apple and Android. But the Spain-based, multinational phone company, Telefónica, is out to change this “duopoly.” 

Telefónica will establish “an enhanced marketing effort” with Microsoft to boost the sales of Windows Phone 8 devices and balance out the cellphone market, the company announced on Wednesday. The company will promote Microsoft's phone OS in six countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and Chile.

Telefónica is the fifth-largest mobile operator by number of customers, according to its website.

Microsoft was chosen because of its “operator-focused business approach,” says José María Álvarez Pallete, COO of Telefónica, in a statement. “The Microsoft business culture is based on a model of value creation through its partner-associates, which fits in perfectly with our culture and also our way of doing business,” Mr. Álvarez says.

The service provider will offer features such as Skydrive, Office 365, and SharePoint to entice consumers away from the familiar formatting of Apple and Android. 

Telefónica’s partnership with Microsoft is a continuation of Microsoft’s battle to stake a firmer place in the cellphone operating system market.

In February 2011, Nokia and Microsoft announced a similar partnership deal that made Windows the primary operating system used by Nokia smart phones.

In March 2013, Microsoft’s Windows Phone overtook Blackberry, in terns of devices shipped worldwide, boosting Windows up to 3.2 percent of the market shares, with BlackBerry at 2.9 percent, according to an International Data Corporation first quarter report.

Android and Apple iOS combined account for 92.3 percent of all smart phone shipments during the first quarter of 2013. 

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