Telefonica partners with Microsoft to boost Windows Phone 8 smartphone sales

Spanish carrier Telefónica is teaming up with Microsoft to make a big push for the company's Windows Phone 8 platform in Europe and South America.

For the next year, Telefónica has committed to an "enhanced marketing effort" in the UK, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, and Chile in order to boost sales of Windows Phone 8 devices.

The move, according to Telefónica, is intended to break up "the current duopoly of Android and iOS, and provide customers with a more personal smartphone experience like Windows Phone offers." Ultimately, this will lead to more competition in the smartphone space, the firm said.

Telefónica said it plans to talk up services like Office 365 and SharePoint to enterprise customers, as well as access to Skydrive and Xbox for consumers. The carrier also pledged to work with handset makers to ensure that their phones are available to those who want them.

Telefónica chose Microsoft because of "its operator-focused business approach," José María Álvarez Pallete, COO of Telefónica, said in a statement. "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."

Windows Phone has been well received by those who use it, but the platform has struggled to compete against Android and iOS devices, which dominate more than 90 per cent of global smartphone shipments, according to February data from IDC.

Still, there are signs that Windows Phone is starting to pick up steam. By 2017, Microsoft is expected to catch up with Apple in terms of worldwide smartphone shipments, according to June data from Canalys.