Telefonica, one of the biggest mobile carriers on the globe, announced today that it would form a partnership with Microsoft. Desperate to break up the smartphone monopoly held by iOS and Android, Telefonica will focus its marketing efforts on the struggling Windows Phone 8 platform. The one year initiative will take place in Germany, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and the United Kingdom.
It’s easy to decipher why Microsoft would want to enter such an agreement, but it is much more difficult to identify Telefonica’s motivation. The Spanish-based provider explained that a duopoly has taken over the market, which gives them less control and leverage over negotiations. As a result, they must decide between Blackberry and Microsoft; the first being a manufacturer that's seemingly shifting its focus from handsets to services, while the latter has put up consistent numbers as a third place alternative.
Telefonica explained that through its marketing campaign it intends to “encourage the presence of additional mobile operating platforms as an alternative to the current duopoly of Android and iOS, and provide customers with a more personal smartphone experience like Windows Phone offers.”
In addition to diversifying the market, Telefonica wants to use Windows Phone 8 to offer enterprise features to its business customers. These tools include but are not limited to SharePoint, Office 365, SkyDrive and Xbox. With the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend picking up steam, this might actually be a very smart move.
Jose Maria Alvarez Pallete, Telefonica's COO, added, “The Microsoft business culture is based on a model of value creation through its partners associates, which fits in perfectly with our culture and also with our way of doing business."