iPhone Kills In Japan, with 46% Smartphone Marketshare

| News

Despite a slow start in the land of the rising sun, the iPhone is now apparently killing the Japanese smartphone market. Impress R&D issued a report (in Japanese) that said the iPhone 3G and 3GS have combined to take 46% of the smartphone market in this country, which would make it one of Apple's top markets.

MobileCrunch translated the report and noted that iPhone carrier Softbank has been aggressively marketing the device and offering it at a discount. Docomo, which carries both Android phones and BlackBerry devices has not done the same thing for those brands, where an HTC Android model is the #10 phone and the BlackBerry Bold is #11.

Interestingly, it is the iPhone 3G that holds the #1 spot, according to the report, with 24.6% market share, while the iPhone 3GS, the newest model, is #2 with 21.5% market share.

Popular TMO Stories



You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Gaijin Observer

How misleading!

What it doesn’t say is that here the smartphone market is almost non-existent. Dumb phones are much smarter than overseas and hardly anybody wants to spend the extra money for a non-clamshell phone.

In the few years since the iPhone launch I’ve only seen a couple of them on the street and I’m pretty sure one was a Touch.

Any cellular that has no TV, TV recorder, FM radio, and extra emoji support (I think Apple added the later last year) will never be a hit here.

On the other hand, the Touch sells pretty well (and most McDo shops give free internet access without buying anything).


Interesting point, Gaijin. I remember noticing how few people have what would be considered a “smartphone” by market analysts.

Gaijin Observer

Yeah, my “dumb” phone has a beautiful 2.5” screen, analog and digital TV, TV recorder, FM radio, MP3 player, microSD slot for up to 4 Gb+ cards, 50 Mb of internal memory, 3 Mpx camera for still images and video, propietary messenger app, support for e-mail and proprietary c-mail system (the later free among members of the same carrier), extendes e-moji characters, barcode reader, bilingual dicctionary with OCR for kanji, some shitty games, Suica e-money payment system (RF), shitty browser support for web, GPS location system, and probably a lot other things I’ll never use.

How much did I pay you ask?

Well, it cost me exactly 0 yen.

Would I like to have an iPhone? You bet I would!

The brick I have is a Sanyo job and, as every other Japanese phone, is the most unintuitive thing you’ll ever encounter. Little things we Mac users take for granted are absent. Take the “erase” function. In every menu the delete option is in a different order so you can’t just remember to press “3” when the menu comes up because it is in 6 or seven different places depending on what are you deleting. You get the drift, everything works much like in a PC. And, by the way, Macs can’t see it, even via USB and with the communications mode engaged. Not even as a mass storage menu. A bummer.

But, at the end of the day, I’m not paying a bucket of money for the monthly fee and, after all, I have such (cheap) internet speeds at home that I won’t even tell you. It would just make you cry.  :oD


smartphone market is very small in Korea too.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account