) and the world's third largest mobile provider China Unicom (
announced an industry alliance
to help boost Windows Phone sales and bring more innovative Windows
Phones to the Chinese market.
[caption id="attachment_75564" align="alignright" width="300"
caption="The flagship Nokia Lumia 920 running Windows Phone 8"]
Microsoft could use the boost. Currently Windows Phones account
for only 3% of the Chinese market -- the largest mobile market in
the world -- compared to industry leader Android's 72%.
That said, China is already the world's largest market for
Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner said at a news
briefing in Beijing on Thursday:
"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."
Microsoft is hoping China Unicom's faster 3G network will
boost its presence in the Chinese market, especially its latest
operating system for mobile devices: Windows Phone 8 (WP8), which
uses the same kernel used in Microsoft desktop devices.
Because of this shared kernel, Windows platform can operate
seamlessly across phones, tablets, laptops, desktop computers and
televisions, Microsoft said -- unlike Apple's iOS or Google's
China Unicom general manager Lu Yimin said the company, which
has more than 70 million subscribers for its 3G network and is
China's second-largest mobile carrier, will help promote more
products using the Windows system. The country only has less than
20% 3G penetration, so the prospects for growth are huge.
A range of new Windows 8 and WP8 devices including smartphones,
tablet PCs and ultrabooks were
launched at the press conference in Beijing
Giving considerable heft to the alliance are manufacturers Nokia
), Qualcomm (
), Intel (
), Samsung (
), HTC (
), ZTE Corporation, Huawei Technologies Co., Lenovo (
) and ASUS (
TMC Net reports that
China Unicom will provide preferential strategic services
, bindable services and marketing strategies for Windows
platform-based smart terminals. Microsoft will offer more strategic
technological support, training and marketing strategies. Chip
dealers will provide competitive chips and strategic technological
support and terminal manufacturers will energetically develop
Windows platform and WCDMA module-based products with a high
The alliance news caps off a great week for China Unicom. The
company scored more than
100,000 online pre-orders alone for the new iPhone 5
) on Monday, the first day of sale ahead of its December 14
The alliance is obviously good news for the still struggling
Nokia, whose handsets exclusively run the Windows Phone OS, and for
Microsoft, which is clearly demonstrating its seriousness in
wanting to compete with Apple and Google.
With Microsoft currently trading at $26.45, just off its 52-week
low of $25.29, the stock has plenty of room to appreciate next
year. Nokia likewise is looking cheap at the current price of
Trefis valuing the stock about 40% higher at $4.50
The two stocks offer a dividend yield of 3.48 and 6.56