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Thanks to iPhone, Japan becomes Apple's hottest market

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
The iPhone and iPad have upended Japan's mobile device market, pushing out traditionally strong Japanese manufacturers and elevating the Land of the Rising Sun to the top of Apple's growth charts, according to a new report.

Ginza Apple Store typhoon
Japanese customers brave the wind and rain of a typhoon while lining up to be among the first to purchase an iPhone 5s during the phone's September launch.


With an estimated 37 percent of the smartphone market and 50 percent of the tablet market, Apple has seen explosive growth in Japan and the world's third-largest economy is now Cupertino's fastest-growing market, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Apple's sales in Japan soared nearly 30 percent during the last fiscal year, cushioned by margins 15 percent higher than those Apple enjoys anywhere else in the world, according to the report. In comparison, nearby China --?which is regularly cited as an important growth market for Apple by people both inside and outside the company --?saw sales growth of just 13 percent over the same period.

The iPhone's dominant market share is said to be due in part to Apple's brand positioning, which the publication places in the same tier as those of fashion houses Louis Vuitton and Burberry.

Eiji Mori, an analyst with Tokyo-based BCN, Inc., told the Journal that when Japanese consumers choose a new mobile phone, "[the choice is] not about specifications. It's not about rationale. It's about owning an iPhone."

The historically rocky relationship between Japan and Korea, which has given Japanese consumers a deep-seated bias against products from the neighboring peninsula is also cited as a tailwind for Apple in Japan. This cultural rift makes it difficult for Apple's global arch rival, South Korea-based Samsung, to gain a foothold.

Apple's success comes at the expense of stalwart Japanese electronics companies like Sony, Sharp, Panasonic, and NEC. The latter two have been hit so hard that they have chosen to fold and exited the smartphone business entirely, a once unthinkable fate.
post #2 of 40
"cushioned by margins 15 percent higher than those Apple enjoys anywhere else in the world", if I was Japanese I'd be seriously pissed at the profiteering.
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post #3 of 40
"The historically rocky relationship between Japan and Korea, which has given Japanese consumers a deep-seated bias against products from the neighboring peninsula is also cited as a tailwind for Apple in Japan. This cultural rift makes it difficult for Apple’s global arch rival, South Korea-based Samsung, to gain a foothold.”


That’s putting a sugar coating on it. These two cultures despise one another.
Edited by lkrupp - 11/11/13 at 8:32am
post #4 of 40
やっぱり^_−☆
post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

"cushioned by margins 15 percent higher than those Apple enjoys anywhere else in the world", if I was Japanese I'd be seriously pissed at the profiteering.

 

It’s called supply and demand. No one is twisting Japanese arms to buy Apple products. Apple products are not essential to Japanese lifestyle. Apple is not a monopoly in Japan. The Japanese consumer has numerous alternatives to Apple products but they choose to buy Apple at the asking price. Since when is this profiteering. Do you even know the meaning of the word? Selling gasoline at $5/gallon after the 9/11 attacks was profiteering. 

 

Your post is stupid, ignorant, uninformed, useless, baseless, and typical of economically illiterate, uneducated sops and free-tards. It is just as stupid as those who ignorantly claim Apple has an illegal monopoly on its own products. Stupidity knows no bounds.

post #6 of 40
This forum software sucks so badly it’s pathetic. AI, you need to use something else.
post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtua View Post

やっぱり^_−☆

'After all'

After all what?
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post #8 of 40

Very very true, they really do hate each other. If you ever watch a baseball or soccer game between these two countries you will understand. Now there may be some crossover and appeal when it comes to young people and J-Pop/K-Pop, TV drama's, and other cultural things that appeals to the other country but not when it comes to products like phones or TV's. Japanese will always buy a domestic or Western brand before anything Korean if given a chance. 

post #9 of 40
Eiji Mori, an analyst with Tokyo-based BCN, Inc., told the Journal that when Japanese consumers choose a new mobile phone, "[the choice is] not about specifications. It's not about rationale. It's about owning an iPhone."

Now this (^^^) is lazy reporting.

Again, I thought there was no growth for Apple. /s
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


'After all'

After all what?

That is not what he meant. It is pronounced Yappari which translates as Duh..., or that is obvious, or of course it is that way, or like I thought. No real exact translation but those give you an idea. It is said when you see something that is obvious

post #11 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

 

It’s called supply and demand. No one is twisting Japanese arms to buy Apple products. Apple products are not essential to Japanese lifestyle. Apple is not a monopoly in Japan. The Japanese consumer has numerous alternatives to Apple products but they choose to buy Apple at the asking price. Since when is this profiteering. Do you even know the meaning of the word? Selling gasoline at $5/gallon after the 9/11 attacks was profiteering. 

 

Your post is stupid, ignorant, uninformed, useless, baseless, and typical of economically illiterate, uneducated sops and free-tards. It is just as stupid as those who ignorantly claim Apple has an illegal monopoly on its own products. Stupidity knows no bounds.

 

Wow, just wow….. Calm down.

 

Who took the jam out of your doughnut?

 

Take a deep breath, ok and now take another, let the anger flow from your body.

 

Feel better? I hope so.

 

Ok, perhaps profiteering was not the correct word. And you are correct, no one is forced to buy Apple products.  I concede being able charge one set of customers far more than other customers for the same product and getting away with it makes good business sense.

 

And perhaps the fact that in the UK we get regularly shafted by Apple, although usually by only 8-10% as opposed to 15% is why I feel for Apple’s customers in Japan.

 

You see, it’s annoying and does tend to make one look for alternatives, I accept that the world is not fair and despite your feelings about me I am not actually naïve, or stupid or…. Whatever else your triad cared to mention.

 

I am a strong supporter of Apple as a company, heck if I was on commission basis for the number of people I have switched to the Mac alone I’d be quite a bit better off financially.

 

But you see, for me personally I find that going from an average of 30-35% mark up (which is already the highest in the industry by a huge margin all by itself) to 50% mark up just because you can as greedy and abhorrent.

 

Sure, I will continue to buy Apple’s products for as long as I feel they remain the best, but don’t expect me to feel the same way as you do about their pricing strategy.

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post #12 of 40

Japanese people value premium brands.  They value ethics, honor, and craftsmanship.  All the things that Samsung isn't.  Its not about Samsung being Korean.  Its that Samsung is a cheap imitation.

 

If anything the Japanese would be biased against the USA.  After all they dropped nukes on them.  By the way I'm part Japanese and Apple doing well is not a surprise.  Unlike other cultures where saving a buck is honorable, in Japan working hard and buying the best is honorable.

 

Also they appreciate art and have good taste in electronics.  Naturally they rejected the overly large and ugly Samsung phones and choose the iPhone which is finely crafted not unlike a samurai sword.

post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post
 

 

It’s called supply and demand. No one is twisting Japanese arms to buy Apple products. Apple products are not essential to Japanese lifestyle. Apple is not a monopoly in Japan. The Japanese consumer has numerous alternatives to Apple products but they choose to buy Apple at the asking price. Since when is this profiteering. Do you even know the meaning of the word? Selling gasoline at $5/gallon after the 9/11 attacks was profiteering. 

 

Nah, the gas hike after 9/11 was child's play compared to the monumental war profiteering done by Halliburton, KBR, et al. 
Privatized war is the big casino of profiteering... a few bucks on an iPhone is chump change.
 

post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

Wow, just wow….. Calm down.



 



Who took the jam out of your doughnut?



 



Take a deep breath, ok and now take another, let the anger flow from your body.



 



Feel better? I hope so.



 



Ok, perhaps profiteering was not the correct word. And you are correct, no one is forced to buy Apple products.  I concede being able charge one set of customers far more than other customers for the same product and getting away with it makes good business sense.



 



And perhaps the fact that in the UK we get regularly shafted by Apple, although usually by only 8-10% as opposed to 15% is why I feel for Apple’s customers in Japan.



 



You see, it’s annoying and does tend to make one look for alternatives, I accept that the world is not fair and despite your feelings about me I am not actually naïve, or stupid or…. Whatever else your triad cared to mention.



 



I am a strong supporter of Apple as a company, heck if I was on commission basis for the number of people I have switched to the Mac alone I’d be quite a bit better off financially.



 



But you see, for me personally I find that going from an average of 30-35% mark up (which is already the highest in the industry by a huge margin all by itself) to 50% mark up just because you can as greedy and abhorrent.



 



Sure, I will continue to buy Apple’s products for as long as I feel they remain the best, but don’t expect me to feel the same way as you do about their pricing strategy.



I guess you don't buy Starbucks, Coke, Wine, etc.
post #15 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

"cushioned by margins 15 percent higher than those Apple enjoys anywhere else in the world", if I was Japanese I'd be seriously pissed at the profiteering.

This might be one of those "not believing everything you read" situations - it was said the increase in price was due to the drop in the value of the yen.  There's a lot of "noise" out there...

 

http://www.indexmundi.com/xrates/graph.aspx?c1=USD&c2=JPY&days=5475

 

http://www.maclife.com/article/news/japanese_buyers_now_paying_more_apples_ipad_ipods

 

 

post #16 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

'After all'

After all what?

Means - As I thought! Tongue in cheek. Japanese no longer supporting japan product to be number one.
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

"cushioned by margins 15 percent higher than those Apple enjoys anywhere else in the world", if I was Japanese I'd be seriously pissed at the profiteering.

It's all the more precious to them. Status symbol, not specs.

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post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

That is not what he meant. It is pronounced Yappari which translates as Duh..., or that is obvious, or of course it is that way, or like I thought. No real exact translation but those give you an idea. It is said when you see something that is obvious

Thanks! Learn something everyday.

edit: that 'after all' came from Bing, which is most likely to be the same from Google Translate.
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post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
 

 

Wow, just wow….. Calm down.

 

Who took the jam out of your doughnut?

 

Take a deep breath, ok and now take another, let the anger flow from your body.

 

Feel better? I hope so.

 

Ok, perhaps profiteering was not the correct word. And you are correct, no one is forced to buy Apple products.  I concede being able charge one set of customers far more than other customers for the same product and getting away with it makes good business sense.

 

And perhaps the fact that in the UK we get regularly shafted by Apple, although usually by only 8-10% as opposed to 15% is why I feel for Apple’s customers in Japan.

 

You see, it’s annoying and does tend to make one look for alternatives, I accept that the world is not fair and despite your feelings about me I am not actually naïve, or stupid or…. Whatever else your triad cared to mention.

 

I am a strong supporter of Apple as a company, heck if I was on commission basis for the number of people I have switched to the Mac alone I’d be quite a bit better off financially.

 

But you see, for me personally I find that going from an average of 30-35% mark up (which is already the highest in the industry by a huge margin all by itself) to 50% mark up just because you can as greedy and abhorrent.

 

Sure, I will continue to buy Apple’s products for as long as I feel they remain the best, but don’t expect me to feel the same way as you do about their pricing strategy.

 


Are you reading this article to claim that Apple adds markup on all products to hit 50%? There is no reference backing up that claim of 15% better margins. I'd sure be interested in how it would have happened if it did. I'm taking that number in the article with a grain of salt.

 

 

post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtua View Post


Means - As I thought! Tongue in cheek. Japanese no longer supporting japan product to be number one.

 

We were told when the first iPhone hit Japan years ago that it will big failure!!

 

Talking about Japanese products.. It is interesting that the Playstation 4 will not be available in Japan until February 2014 while it will be released in US and Europe this month. If I was in Japan I would be pissed.

post #21 of 40

I imagine that China will be even bigger.

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post #22 of 40
Talking about Japanese products.. It is interesting that the Playstation 4 will not be available in Japan until February 2014 while it will be released in US and Europe this month. If I was in Japan I would be pissed.
[/quote]

To think how many times I felt pissed that the Japan launch happened 6 months before us......how things have changed.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

'After all'

After all what?

Note the "face" expression made up by the last few characters.
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post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by virtua View Post

Talking about Japanese products.. It is interesting that the Playstation 4 will not be available in Japan until February 2014 while it will be released in US and Europe this month. If I was in Japan I would be pissed.
Quote:
To think how many times I felt pissed that the Japan launch happened 6 months before us......how things have changed.

Perhaps the Japanese people have a different time of the year they spend themselves into poverty then the U.S. people???
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post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post

We were told when the first iPhone hit Japan years ago that it will (sic) big failure!!

You're right, it was. The Japanese were using emoji characters a lot in their text communications and the iPhone lacked that completely. Emoji is not integrated into the iPhone now.
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post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhonethere4Iam View Post
 

I imagine that China will be even bigger.

Even though China has a much larger population, the vast majority live below what we would consider minimum wage. Unless China's middle and upperclass sees tremendous growth, I doubt they will surpass Japan as a market for premium smartphones anytime soon.

post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post


I guess you don't buy Starbucks, Coke, Wine, etc.

No not at all, I love coca cola and good South African wine, they are items that have the advantage of always being on special somewhere.

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post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by NasserAE View Post
 

 

We were told when the first iPhone hit Japan years ago that it will big failure!!

 

Talking about Japanese products.. It is interesting that the Playstation 4 will not be available in Japan until February 2014 while it will be released in US and Europe this month. If I was in Japan I would be pissed.

The main reason the PS4 is coming out later in Japan is due to the lack of Japanese games at launch. Sony wants to release the game with not just Western games like BF4, FIFA 14, etc. 

post #29 of 40

I don't want to rain on the parade but isn't part of the reason for the explosive growth in iPhones at least due to the fact the NTT Docomo, the largest carrier in Japan, finally woke up and started selling the iPhone?  

Also the premium is relative I think.  Is it a 15% premium relative to phones sold outside Japan or is it in comparison to local offerings?  I think it's the former they are talking about.  While this is great for Apple, it is also likely the case for many other companies and products.   Japan tends to be more expensive for a lot of things.  A cup of coffee might cost 600 yen ($6), I'm guessing that's a pretty healthy margin over a similar cup sold in the U.S.

 

Having said all this there are still many strong reasons for why the iPhone is so popular in Japan.  Apple itself has traditionally been very popular in Japan.  I remember before the Apple Stores came out there used to be a 6 story store that sold only Apple products at Akihabara that wasn't even Apple run and operated. 

post #30 of 40

Emoji has always been on the iPhone. It's under keyboard options.

post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

It’s called supply and demand. No one is twisting Japanese arms to buy Apple products. Apple products are not essential to Japanese lifestyle. Apple is not a monopoly in Japan. The Japanese consumer has numerous alternatives to Apple products but they choose to buy Apple at the asking price. Since when is this profiteering. Do you even know the meaning of the word? Selling gasoline at $5/gallon after the 9/11 attacks was profiteering. 

Your post is stupid, ignorant, uninformed, useless, baseless, and typical of economically illiterate, uneducated sops and free-tards. It is just as stupid as those who ignorantly claim Apple has an illegal monopoly on its own products. Stupidity knows no bounds.

I agree but you really shouldn't have held back so much on your opinion of his post ... 1biggrin.gif
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post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPhonethere4Iam View Post
 

I imagine that China will be even bigger.

I imagine that if you review the economic statistics and discover what China's per capita GDP is, you might adjust your expectations.  There are a lot of wealthy Chinese nowadays, wealthy as in enjoying incomes comparable to Japan's per capita GDP, but I seriously doubt this demographic would be larger than Japan's total population.  So yeah, fully opening up the China market for Apple is big, but 'even bigger' than Japah? Nah.

post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
 

 

Wow, just wow….. Calm down.

 

Who took the jam out of your doughnut?

 

Take a deep breath, ok and now take another, let the anger flow from your body.

 

Feel better? I hope so.

 

Ok, perhaps profiteering was not the correct word. And you are correct, no one is forced to buy Apple products.  I concede being able charge one set of customers far more than other customers for the same product and getting away with it makes good business sense.

 

And perhaps the fact that in the UK we get regularly shafted by Apple, although usually by only 8-10% as opposed to 15% is why I feel for Apple’s customers in Japan.

 

You see, it’s annoying and does tend to make one look for alternatives, I accept that the world is not fair and despite your feelings about me I am not actually naïve, or stupid or…. Whatever else your triad cared to mention.

 

I am a strong supporter of Apple as a company, heck if I was on commission basis for the number of people I have switched to the Mac alone I’d be quite a bit better off financially.

 

But you see, for me personally I find that going from an average of 30-35% mark up (which is already the highest in the industry by a huge margin all by itself) to 50% mark up just because you can as greedy and abhorrent.

 

Sure, I will continue to buy Apple’s products for as long as I feel they remain the best, but don’t expect me to feel the same way as you do about their pricing strategy.

 

I used to bristle, be all indignant, about Apple's margins.  Then I bought some Apple stock and now my incentive structure and point of view has completely change.  If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.  That has never been so true!

post #34 of 40

Wait, I thought that everyone in Asia wanted 6-inch "phablets" made out of plastic?!  This story CANNOT be true!

post #35 of 40
iPhone 5S is free with 2 years contract. Android devices are also offered with the same pricing structure. If both are free, why should people buy Android?
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post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post
 

 

Wow, just wow….. Calm down.

 

Who took the jam out of your doughnut?

 

Take a deep breath, ok and now take another, let the anger flow from your body.

 

Feel better? I hope so.

 

Ok, perhaps profiteering was not the correct word. And you are correct, no one is forced to buy Apple products.  I concede being able charge one set of customers far more than other customers for the same product and getting away with it makes good business sense.

 

And perhaps the fact that in the UK we get regularly shafted by Apple, although usually by only 8-10% as opposed to 15% is why I feel for Apple’s customers in Japan.

 

You see, it’s annoying and does tend to make one look for alternatives, I accept that the world is not fair and despite your feelings about me I am not actually naïve, or stupid or…. Whatever else your triad cared to mention.

 

I am a strong supporter of Apple as a company, heck if I was on commission basis for the number of people I have switched to the Mac alone I’d be quite a bit better off financially.

 

But you see, for me personally I find that going from an average of 30-35% mark up (which is already the highest in the industry by a huge margin all by itself) to 50% mark up just because you can as greedy and abhorrent.

 

Sure, I will continue to buy Apple’s products for as long as I feel they remain the best, but don’t expect me to feel the same way as you do about their pricing strategy.

Actually, margins for products sold in different locations can vary all over the place, not just with Apple. And to say that 50% is greedy is just nonsense. For instance, markups historically for things like furniture have been 100% (meaning a 50% gross margin) at the retail level. And since Apple sells directly as a retailer, there is nothing wrong with a 50% markup. As to the fluctuations in pricing by country, that could very well be based on specific costs for doing business in that country, such as import / export fees, operating costs, overhead, etc. For instance, here in China where I currently live, Apple products are 17% more expensive at retail because the government slaps a 17% tax on every Apple product because they are a foreign company, even though the products are made here. As to Japan, it is historically an expensive place to do business so Apple probably is recouping "excessive" operating costs within the margin. Taking a look at England, I would be willing to bet you will find a similar scenario.

 

Lastly, just because all the other electronics manufacturers don't know how to make money doesn't mean Apple shouldn't.

post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnd0ps View Post
 

Even though China has a much larger population, the vast majority live below what we would consider minimum wage. Unless China's middle and upperclass sees tremendous growth, I doubt they will surpass Japan as a market for premium smartphones anytime soon.

Actually you need to study up on China. They now have a middle class that is larger than that of the US. Further, they will save for months to buy a single luxury product, even if they have a low salary. They are now the second largest luxury goods market in the world, and are estimated to reach the number one position within the next few years based on current trends.

post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by sog35 View Post
 

If anything the Japanese would be biased against the USA.  

I realized this is not a complete sentence.

post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post


You're right, it was. The Japanese were using emoji characters a lot in their text communications and the iPhone lacked that completely. Emoji is not integrated into the iPhone now.

Go back and learn about Emoji keyboard in Settings. I used it since iPhone 3G.

post #40 of 40

I live in a small town in Japan, and most people here have iPhones. It was a surprise to me, because I had had the media-influenced notion that Japanese did not use the iPhone much.

 

I think Apple's marketshare in Japan can only go up. In general, Japanese are fairly conformist, so if something becomes an established norm (like owning an iPhone), almost everyone will do the same.

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