Apple Snags 72% of Japan’s Smartphone Market

| News

The popularity of Apple’s iPhone has grown in Japan so much that it now accounts for 72 percent of the country’s smartphone market, according to BusinessWeek.

iPhone shipments to Japan have more than doubled in the past year, and shipments are expected to top three million units over the next 12 months, too. The iPhone’s growth in the country stands in contrast to the overall decline Japan’s smartphone market has seem over the past two years.

Smartphone competition is expected to heat up in Japan this year, which means Apple may have to work harder to keep its lead. “Last year was just the beginning of the smartphone competition, which is why Apple did so well,” said Daiwa Securities Group analyst Calvin Huang.

HTC followed Apple with 11 percent of the country’s smartphone market sales, followed buy Toshiba with 6.8 percent of the market.



Wow, I’m (pleasantly) surprised. I’d always thought that the iPhone was relatively low tech by Asian phone standards, but I’m glad that it’s gained popularity in Japan.


That’s quite impressive. Kudo’s to Apple. I want to forward this to my friends that dis the iPhone because it’s not “open” enough. Apparently the most tech savvy market in the world is very happy with how it works.


Good job Apple! The only question is, were all those sales on a single carrier like here in the US?

Yes daemon, all those sales are through the country’s sole provider of the iPhone, Softbank.

When our second two-year contracts run out in May, my wife and I are gonna switch to Softbank to get one. No initial payment for the 16 Gb (as in free beer) and contracts range from $41 yo $62 a month, the later for unlimited data. Softbank’s president is going to announce in June whether you’ll be able to legally unlock the phone after your contract runs out. That’ll be great because I don’t really want to jailbreak them.

As I stated in an old smilar article here though, the numbers are tricky because the smartphone market here is really, really tiny. All dumb-ass phones have more functions than you would ever use and some of the most wanted and used by Japanese people are not?and never will be?present on the iPhone.

Still, don’t assume this is the most tech-savvy market because them phones have plenty of features. They are big, clunky, heavy and most counter-intuitive to use. By the way, over 95% of them are flip-phones.

In general, Apple is quite known and used throughout Japan though. If I recall correctly, it’s the first international market outside the US.


I want to know what is considered a smartphone in that Business Week article. 70% sounds very good indeed but what do they define as smartphones and what do they not count?

Japanese phones are pretty feature packed. They are extremely high tech stuff. I disagree with the poster above me. Sure, they are a lot of time bulky, but they are usually flip phones. But don’t mistake those as low tech. The fact is Japanese phones had been higher tech than the rest of the world for at least a decade. None of the western phones can even compare. The closest things we got are the so called smartphones we have now. And in some aspects, smartphones and iphone specifically still can’t compare.

Eg. You can watch TV on Japanese phones. Web browsing isn’t as robust as iphone on the usual models, but that isn’t undoable.

They can also use their phones to pay for stuff. Softbank got its namesake directly from that capability.

As the poster above me suggested, the “smartphone” market is probably tiny in comparison. So the 70% means very little.

Japanese people just love western stuff. This is a stereotype, yes, but it also happen to be true. It doesn’t matter if they have superior tech they refuse to export to the rest of the world, they’re still going to enjoy inferior western counterparts just because of that western smell.

But don’t ever think we have anything even approaching Japanese phones. They are just THAT far ahead and have always been. Both in terms of tech AND design aesthetics.

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