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Japan’s Windows phone usage shows the future of the platform

neo nuans
Michael

Distribution of Windows Phone devices around the world

While the Windows phone market situation in most of the countries around the world has been pretty static for years, there is a country where the things a much different. Japan, where Nokia never became a popular brand, now has many small manufacturers with interesting phones based on Windows 10 Mobile. While the market for Windows phones in Japan is still rather small compared with the sales of Android and iOS, Microsoft has succeeded in opening the market to other OEMs in at least in one country, and the new Windows 10 phones are relatively popular in Japan.

Here are the top 10 models on Windows 10 Mobile in Japan (source):

Japan Windows 10 Mobile share July

Windows 10 Mobile devices in Japan (July 2016)

As you can see, most of the these models are non-Microsoft /Lumia and they are relatively new. For comparison, the worldwide market share for Windows 10 Mobile shows a completely different picture: the old Lumia 535 is still the most popular device, and all 10 devices are Lumias:

Windows 10 Mobile devices in July 2016

With Microsoft drastically reducing the number of the new models and focusing on fewer but premium devices, thus leaving space for other OEMs to breathe the situation in Japan should be replicated in other parts in the coming months and years. If Microsoft’s strategy succeeds in the long term, then we should begin seeing fewer Microsoft-branded devices in the top 10 lists.

However, the situation still looks quite complicated for Microsoft – the most popular models are old low-end phones, the flagship Lumia 950 range hasn’t impacted the figures, the adoption of Windows 10 Mobile is low at 11.9%, and there are not many manufacturers (outside Japan) who want to produce new models.

Will the upcoming HP Elite x3 make an impact or we should wait for the Surface phone in 2017? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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