Microsoft and China Unicom have announced a partnership to boost Windows Phone in the country.
Stephen Elop, chief executive officer of Nokia, this week said China has already become the world’s largest market for Windows Phone devices and the biggest single-country market for Nokia’s Lumia smartphone series. The OS currently holds a 3% market share there, according to according to Beijing-based research company Analysys International.
China Unicom and Microsoft officials said the new Windows alliance will lead to the development of more innovative devices and attract more partners.
Lu Yimin, general manager of China Unicom, said Windows Phone devices give users a large variety of choices. He said China Unicom, which has more than 70 million subscribers to its third-generation, or 3G, network, will help promote more products using the Windows system.
Microsoft will put more resources into technical support, schedule more regular training sessions and place a greater emphasis on marketing promotions, Turner said.
"China is the No 1 market worldwide in terms of PC, tablet,mobile and Internet users," Kevin Turner, chief operating officer of Microsoft, said at a news briefing in Beijing on Thursday. "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,"he said.
Seven cell phone manufacturers, including Nokia Corp, HTC Corp and Samsung Group, and the chipset makers Qualcomm Inc and Intel Corp, will be among the first members of the alliance.
Ji Chendong, telecom analyst at KPMG China, said he is confident the alliance will give sales of Windows Phone devices a boost next year.
Ray Yam, president of HTC China, said it would take less time for Windows Phone devices to realize explosive growth than Android smartphones.
"Circumstances have changed," Yam said.
"The well-developed network infrastructure and higher smartphone penetration rate in China have both laid a good foundation for Windows Phone handsets."
Read more at China Daily