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Mobile network strikes deal with eBay over m-commerce features

18 February 2011 - 11:50 by Sarah Collinson

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Future smartphones launched by network provider O2, could be sold with the eBay m-commerce app preloaded onto their storage, as part of a new deal which the operator's parent firm, Telefonica, has struck this week.

Both high end smartphones and affordable, entry-level mobiles will be kitted out with the eBay m-commerce app, allowing users of the site to enjoy safe shopping online in any number of places.

Of course not every mobile will be able to run the dedicated app, so in its place O2 will insert a link to the specially optimised mobile site of the online auction house, so that every customer has a quick way to access their accounts and check up on any listings which they are watching.

Various smartphone platforms will begin to feature eBay functionality when bought via O2. This includes Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry OS, Android and the Apple iPhone.

Telefonica's Glyn Povah, said that the firm is hoping to get more of its customers excited about the idea of m-commerce and offer them the best possible experience when carrying out safe shopping online from their phones.

Povah explained that eBay was one of the leaders in the modern m-commerce market, offering better functionality and security than many of its rivals, even as many more firms join the fight to win over mobile customers.

UK consumers are already very savvy when it comes to m-commerce, with figures showing that more people use the eBay app and mobile site here than in any other European nation.

The auction site made billions from mobile sales in 2010 and in the run up to last Christmas, a tenth of transactions in the UK were carried out from portable devices, showing the power of m-commerce in the modern world.