Telefonica Partners with Microsoft to Challenge Smartphone Duopoly

windows 8 and a new app storeGoogle’s Android and Apple’s iOS have long dominated the smartphone market. Now, one carrier is taking steps to change that. Telefonica, one of the largest carriers in the world, has made an agreement with Microsoft to put its weight behind promoting the Windows Phone 8 operating system and devices. The increased marketing efforts will be focused in the UK, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and Chile.

Telefonica’s stated goal is to encourage more competition and the presence of additional mobile operating systems as alternatives to the existing duopoly of Android and iOS. There’s no doubt that those two operating systems hold the lion’s share of the market; a recent report by IDC showed that the two combined made up 91% of smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2012.

That position gives Google and Apple a lot of power and it’s natural that a carrier like Telefonica might want to upset the balance in order to gain more leverage for itself. Microsoft makes sense for a partnership as it’s a big name and a growing third party. However, Telefonica isn’t putting all of its eggs in one basket. Despite focusing on promoting Windows Phone 8, it will continue to sell devices running on the other operating systems.

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