The world’s third largest wireless operator, China Unicom, has today announced an alliance with Microsoft’s Windows Phone to help boost sales and provide more innovative Windows Phone devices in the Chinese market, reports the China Daily.
According to Analysys International, a Beijing-based research firm, Windows Phone holds less than 3 percent of the market in China, whereas Android came away with a 72 percent share in the third quarter of this year.
This comes at a big time for China Unicom, who seems to be racking up orders for the iPhone 5. This also allows Windows Phone a competitive foothold alongside such a strong Chinese carrier, which boasts over 70 million subscribers.
Here’s what Microsoft’s Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner had to say about it at a news briefing in Beijing:
China is the No 1 market worldwide in terms of PC, tablet, mobile and Internet users. It is a very exciting place. We believe there is a great opportunity across the country to provide new business models to partners, new technologies to developers and best services to customers.
China is a strong area for Nokia, which is the biggest single-country for sales of Lumia devices. In fact, Nokia recently released the first ever Windows Phone 8 handset in China with the Lumia 920T, however that device went to China Mobile, China Unicom’s fiercest rival.
Nokia will join HTC, Samsung, Qualcomm and Intel Corp in the alliance, which will allegedly include seven different handset manufacturers in total.
According to the report, Microsoft will spend more resources on technical support and marketing promotions, with more regular training sessions for retail associates.
Windows Phone 7 is the successor of the Windows Mobile 6.5 mobile operating system in development by Microsoft, scheduled for release by October 2010. Microsoft’s goal is to create a compelling and predictable user experience by redesigning the user interface, disallowing partners to modify or replace it, integrating the operating system with other services, and strictly controlling the hardware it runs on.