Last year, Microsoft pretty much scaled back its mobile efforts to give some breathing room to third-party OEMs, though so far none of them (including HP with its premium Elite x3 handset) have managed to outshine the well-known Lumia brand. In Japan, a market where Windows phones have never been popular, Japanese company NuAns still managed to impress with the NEO, its first Windows 10 Mobile handset with a modular design that looks a bit familiar to early Lumia handsets.
NuAns considered launching the handset in the US through a Kickstarter campaign last year, but that go-to-market strategy didn’t work out. At the time, the company said that it might try again the crowdfunding approach with an updated version of the NuAns NEO. However, NuAns President Tetsushi Hoshikawa just told Neowin that the company has since changed its plans, explaining that the low market share of Windows 10 Mobile is is still an issue.
Indeed, the exec shared that he thought that the growing market share of Windows 10 on PCs would help Windows 10 Mobile stand out in the mobile market. “We thought it would be more popular than original Windows phones, so that’s why we wanted to try,” he explained. However, Hoshikawa declined to say if the company would continue to use Windows 10 Mobile on future handsets or switch to the much more popular Android. According to Kantar, Windows Phone claimed a 0.2% market share in Japan for the three months ending October 2016 (down 0.2 percentage points year-over-year), compared to 51.7% for iOS and 47.5% for Android.