During the Mobile World Congress held last week in Barcelona, Zain Group entered into an agreement with Microsoft Middle East and Africa to bring Windows Phone devices to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
The planned launch of Windows Phone software later this year, jointly with smartphone devices from selected manufacturers, will target business and consumers across Zain's mobile operations in Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and South Sudan.
Zain's partnership with Microsoft complements and follows other technology ventures that Zain has recently entered into in order to enrich the company's offering of mobile services in line with our customer's growing appetite for smartphones and applications. This partnership with Zain across its mobile operations will allow consumers across the region to purchase a variety of the latest devices from various manufacturers of Windows Phone devices that enable and compliment their digital lifestyles.
Windows Phone offers a fresh approach to mobile device software, distinguished by smart design and truly integrated experiences that bring to the surface the content people are most interested from the Web and applications. Individual country access to the Windows Phone devices will be rolled out with the first launch set to take place later this year.
In addition, it is envisaged that the partnership will foster the development of an applications ecosystem within Zain's mobile network, facilitating developers to create and publish applications for the marketplace.
Nabeel Bin Salamah, CEO of Zain Group, noted,
"The smartphone has become a necessary item in today's society, and this agreement with Microsoft, one of the world's leading technology companies, is just the beginning of yet another example of Zain delivering on its brand promise to achieve our vision of 'A Wonderful World'. We have the utmost confidence in the capabilities of Windows smartphone technology and believe such an appealing offering will further attract, empower and enhance the lifestyles of our customers."
On his part, Gustavo Fuchs, Microsoft Mobility Director, Middle East and Africa, said, "Smartphone growth is fuelling the worldwide mobile phone market and Windows Phone is poised to lead this trend. In fact, the International Data Corporation (IDC) recently projected that Windows Phone will have the second largest share of the smartphone market by 2015."
He further commented, "We are seeing huge smartphone growth in the region and this is expected to continue with a prediction of 38% year-on-year growth for 2012. The partnership with local mobile phone operators will help drive the appetite of consumers in the region."
"We are pleased to cement our long -term partnership with Zain, a company that has been with us since the first version of Windows Mobile was released, and has now embraced Windows Phone as a part of its portfolio. Zain's wide reach across Middle East and North Africa and its globally recognized distribution expertise will ensure consumers have access to the latest and greatest phones as soon as possible," Fuchs added.
"People want a phone that helps them focus on what matters most; works on their behalf; and simplifies common tasks. They want a phone that helps manage and organize all of the information that is constantly swirling around them. Windows Phone brings together related content from the Web, applications and services into a single view to make life easier. We are excited to deliver this to our customers," Bin Salamah concluded.
With Microsoft as a "Long-term" partner, Zain is poised to rock the Middle East Market.