PARTNERSHIP WITH MICROSOFT HELPS MTS TO DRIVE SALES OF SMARTPHONES
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
In November 2012, MTS and Microsoft announced a strategic initiative to promote innovative mobile solutions by launching Windows 8 “Ecosystem Demo Zones” in MTS retail stores. Today, the two companies unveiled the first results of this partnership at a press-event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
In November-December 2012, 20 Windows 8 “Demo Zones” were opened in the MTS retail stores in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Yekaterinburg. In these zones, customers can test and buy Windows 8 smartphones, notebooks and tablets, as well as experience how Windows cloud solutions work. Windows 8 devices come bundled with MTS data tariff plans. Since the launch of this project, sales of Windows Phones in the shops with dedicated zones increased 2.5 times, and sales of Windows-enabled tablets rose 30%. Windows Phone smartphones already account for 20-25% smartphones sold in these shops.
The partnership with MTS has enabled Microsoft to grow Windows Phone sales in Russia. At the end of 2011, MTS was one of the first retail chains to launch Windows Phone 7 devices. At the end of Q4 2012, the share of Windows Phone in the MTS retail network’s smartphone sales reached 5.9%, which translates into three-fold increase in 2012. According to the IDC, data presented in Barcelona, in Q4 2012 Windows Phone overtook iOS and became the third most-popular OS for mobile devices in the Russian market with a market share of 7%.
Strong sales of Windows Phone devices also contributed to the rising penetration of smartphones on the MTS network. Today more than 23% of devices on the MTS network are smartphones compared to just 9.3% two years earlier. MTS expects the penetration of smartphones to triple in 2013-2015 driven by the availability of more affordable handsets and increased usage of credit products, as well as greater customer awareness. Our customer survey conducted in Fall 2012 showed that 68% of Russians think that smartphone is too complicated to use; this sentiment is the greatest barrier keeping them from getting one. Partnerships with Microsoft helps us to offset these attitudes and educate customers to drive consumption of data and content products.
MTS President and CEO Andrei Dubovskov and Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer opening the first Windows 8 "Ecosytem Demo Zone" in a MTS store in Moscow on November 06, 2012.