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eBay to be first retail app pre-loaded on all Telefonica smartphones, starting with O2 in the UK this summer

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The ubiquity of eBay on mobile has taken another step with the auction site inking a unique deal with uber-operator Telefonica that will see eBay become the first retail app pre-loaded on all of Telefonica’s smartphones worldwide, starting with O2 in the UK.

This is the first mobile pre-load deal agreed by eBay anywhere in the world, and the first time Telefonica has selected an app to make available to its O2 smart and feature phone customers across the board.

Starting later this year the eBay mobile app icon or a link to the eBay mobile site will appear on either the home page or two subsequent pages of most Android, Windows Phone 7, Symbian, RIM and bada devices sold by O2 in the UK over the next two years. O2 customers in the UK will be the first to benefit from the arrangement, but eBay’s mobile shopping experience is expected to roll out to other Telefonica markets worldwide.

With hundreds of thousands of applications available across the main mobile operating systems, app discovery is becoming essential for brands and developers. Through deals like this Telefonica can provide an added value service to brands looking to market their applications to O2’s 22 million customer base in the UK.

Glyn Povah, Head of Content at Telefonica O2 Europe said: “Deals like this are great for customers and great for brands. They allow us to bring our customers best-of-breed content & services from the brands they know and love, while also helping brands get stand out in the increasingly cluttered app marketplace.”

Steve Yankovich, Vice President of Mobile, eBay said: “With smart phones now outselling PCs, the future of shopping for our customers is mobile. Today’s deal means that O2’s 22 million customers will find it even easier to access the world’s largest marketplace wherever they are. We will continue to invest in mobile technology and work with partners to extend our market-leading position in m-commerce, and to give customers the shopping experience they demand.”

eBay is a leader in m-commerce, having generated nearly $2bn of mobile sales in 2010, which is expected to double to $4bn in 2011. The UK has been the fastest adopter of m-commerce, with more Brits shopping through the eBay app than anywhere else in Europe. At the height of the holiday shopping season in December, 10 percent of eBay UK’s entire sales volume was transacted through mobile.

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