Currently, the mobile operating system market resembles a duopoly, with Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS in a league of their own. It wasn’t always this way, though. Smartphone enthusiasts will remember that at one time, Nokia’s Symbian was the most widely used mobile operating system in the world. Symbian couldn’t compete in the touchscreen era, but for a time, Microsoft’s Windows Phone looked to be a credible competitor to Android and iOS.
Microsoft acquired Nokia’s Devices and Services division in 2014, and Windows Phone was starting to succeed in the budget smartphone market in some countries. However, it all went downhill from there as Windows 10 Mobile — Windows Phone’s successor — failed to take off in the market because of various reasons. In 2016, the company discontinued the Lumia smartphone lineup, and we haven’t seen a new mobile device from Microsoft since then. It’s worth noting, though, thatrumors are abound regarding a new ARM-powered Surface device codenamed “Andromeda”
In the past, we’ve seen many phones leak after being canceled by Microsoft. Probably one of the most notable canceled smartphone leaks was the Nokia McLaren, which had 3D Touch functionality. Now, another prototype of a Windows Phone has shown up in a video, being used alongside the Lumia 950 XL and the Surface Pro 4.
The prototype was called the Lumia Hapanero, and the interesting thing to note is that it supports pen input via the Surface Pen. (It’s also worth noting that Microsoft’s “Andromeda” device is rumored to have note-taking capabilities.)
The Lumia Hapanero was supposed to be released at Build 2015. It had a Snapdragon 810 system-on-chip with 4GB of RAM. Microsoft was said to be testing two variants of the device: one with a Full HD display, the other with QHD resolution.
In the video, it’s obvious that the Surface Pen doesn’t work very well on the Lumia Hapanero, but it does indeed work. On the other hand, the Lumia 950 XL doesn’t recognize any pen input. (The prototype versions of the Lumia 950 and 950 XL did support pen input, according to leaks.) Of course, the unfinished nature of pen input support doesn’t matter as the device will obviously never be released in the market.
The prototype device is powered by an old version of Windows 10 Mobile. The unfortunate thing to note for Windows Mobile fans is that Microsoft has officially confirmed that Windows 10 Mobile won’t receive any feature updates in the future.
Seeing the Lumia prototype in a video also reaffirms the “what could have been” question for Windows on mobile. Although it had a lot of potential, Microsoft failed to make the mobile platform competitive against its rivals. Here’s hoping that the tech giant learns from its past mistakes to do better in the future.