Apple's iPhone commands 46% of Japanese smartphone market

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Nearly half of all domestic smartphone users have turned to the iPhone in Japan, giving Apple a dominant position in the market, according to a new study.



New data released this week from Tokyo-based research company Impress R&D shows the iPhone 3G taking 24.6 percent of the consumer smartphone market. The iPhone 3GS, released this year, accounts for another 21.5 percent.



Most of those gains came at the expense of the Sharp WillCOM W-Zero 3 Advance, a phone with a 3-inch screen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. In 2008, the phone was the most popular in Japan with 26.8 percent of the smartphone market. This year, its share tumbled to 14.6 percent while the iPhone 3GS was introduced, and the iPhone 3G saw a slight gain of 0.9 percent.



The success story soundly disproves reports from earlier this year that the iPhone was "hated" in Japan. It also demonstrates that the iPhone 3GS had a tremendous debut, just like the iPhone 3G did in 2008. This despite the fact that the Japanese market is notoriously difficult to crack for newcomers.



According to MobileCrunch, the iPhone has been aggressively marketed by carrier SoftBank Mobile, the exclusive wireless provider of the iPhone in Japan. "TV commercials virtually around the clock, print ads in major media, super-competitive pricing etc. do have an effect, it seems," the report said.







Earlier this month, it was reported that the iPhone had an exceptional debut in South Korea, selling 60,000 units at launch. That total represents about 15 percent of the 400,000 total smartphones sold in the country in the third quarter of 2009.



And despite a slow start for iPhone sales this fall in China, they have since sold at a steady pace, topping 100,000. And though numbers are difficult to track, various reports suggest the phone has sold well on China's gray market.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    But I thought Apple would never break into the Japanese market
  • Reply 2 of 68
    リンゴ素晴らしいです!アップルiPhoneを席巻している!
  • Reply 3 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    But I thought Apple would never break into the Japanese market



    Right, a total flop. How could it ever take off with no front facing camera?



    My buddy was in Japan for almost two years and was telling me that with all the crazy tech there, the UI of the other devices was atrocious. Sometimes simple is better-- a UI is one of those times.
  • Reply 4 of 68
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,249member
    That is impressive.



    RFID payment system here we come!
  • Reply 5 of 68
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post


    But I thought Apple would never break into the Japanese market



    And how do Japanese iPhone users pay for anything if their phone has no RFID swipe capability? Some reports make it sound like thats the only way they pay for stuff in Japan. Apparently that's not as critical a feature as they made it sound.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    iPhone phenomenon = iPod phenomenon.



    It'll just take a bit longer.
  • Reply 7 of 68
    Got a couple more months left on my crappy Sharp keitai, then I'll try to wait until the next iPhone in June. Want an iPhone so bad I'm getting nosebleeds.
  • Reply 8 of 68
    I recall lots of noise about how the iPhone was going to fail in Japan...



    Always thought it would do OK; it seems to be doing better than OK.
  • Reply 9 of 68
    About payments: I don't think that's actually true (though I don't live in one of the major cities). There are systems in place everywhere to let you pay by phone but personally I seldom see anyone using this method. I am aware that many commuters in places like Tokyo (some spend two hours on trains... each way) use swipe phones to get through stations quickly (if you've ever been to Tokyo Station at rush hour, you could understand the desire/need to move as quickly and easily as possible).



    Live far away from Tokyo so I really don't have any idea what is considered normal up there; it is a different world from where I live.
  • Reply 10 of 68
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    And how do Japanese iPhone users pay for anything if their phone has no RFID swipe capability? Some reports make it sound like thats the only way they pay for stuff in Japan. Apparently that's not as critical a feature as they made it sound.



    Japan is for the most part a cash based society. RFID my ass. There are RFID systems linked to mobile phones [if you apply for them;not automatic] such as ID, Eddy, etc but I have never seen anyone swipe there phone for anything. Ok maybe once. HIDDEN RFID are gaining ground but that's the case all over the world. My new driver's license here is thicker because of the new chip.



    Go to Yodobashi Camera and watch everyone buying 50" flast screens and household appliances all in cash cash cash... Of course there are people who have business credit cards or want to build points with credit cards but that's like 10%.



    Oh and btw 46% of an almost non existent smart phone market is well...diddly. But really this "smart phone" market is not really well defined. What is it? I'm assuming that in general "smart phones" are PDA like which would be an iPhone and Droid duh. If that's the case then Japan's "smart phone market" is as I said above. Almost non existent". Ooh an iPhone and a WinMobile phone. Thriving market.



    It's amazing how people will believe anything if it's what they want to believe.



    .
  • Reply 11 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by technohermit View Post


    Right, a total flop. How could it ever take off with no front facing camera?



    My buddy was in Japan for almost two years and was telling me that with all the crazy tech there, the UI of the other devices was atrocious. Sometimes simple is better-- a UI is one of those times.



    judging from the cowon d2 mp3 player that i had to return because of its atrocious UI, i have a feeling a lot of devices intended for sale in asia really do have some horrible user interfaces.



    when i heard about the features the iphone was lacking that japan was used to, i thought to myself that most people in japan couldn't possibly want all these extra nearly useless features at the expense of ease of use. i doubted highly that the iphone would flop in japan considering it has the best ui of any phone period.
  • Reply 12 of 68
    dogcowdogcow Posts: 713member
    If you care to watch some of the ads from japan: http://www.apple.com/jp/iphone/gallery/ads
  • Reply 13 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post


    And how do Japanese iPhone users pay for anything if their phone has no RFID swipe capability? Some reports make it sound like thats the only way they pay for stuff in Japan. Apparently that's not as critical a feature as they made it sound.



    yeah, japanese people have cash and must have credit cards as well. if they've had RFID swipes on their cell phones, i would think it wouldn't be hard to get the same thing in a credit card.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    Android phones are going to do to the iPhone what Gojira (Godzilla) does to Tokyo, stomp them flat. All because it's open, which we all know is so much better than the evil closed Apple way.
  • Reply 15 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post


    Android phones are going to do to the iPhone what Gojira (Godzilla) does to Tokyo, stomp them flat. All because it's open, which we all know is so much better than the evil closed Apple way.



    Please explain evil ways?????????? (If you can)



    I'm sure glad you don't own any of the " Closed Evil Apple " products. You just like the forums.



    BTW... Apple's entire developer platform (Mac, Safari, iPhone) is open to people who want to write powerful, elegant, and sophisticated Apps for a relevant and top of the line OS & Web browser. " Do you want to write code, or write the future " - Apple



    Android will turn into another windows mobile, it's just a matter of when?
  • Reply 16 of 68
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OnePotato View Post


    Android phones are going to do to the iPhone what Gojira (Godzilla) does to Tokyo, stomp them flat.



    Either be stomped flat ORRRRRRR....



    Since we ARE talking about Godzilla here....



    Produce BAD products where audio/video is off and use fake model parts in construction, let alone all the bad actors and in the end, you'll have stinky, steamy smoke belching out of your mouth just before you fall over in your playtex suit and give your legs a few kicks before Godzilla dies at the hands...er wings of Mothra (code name of the next iPhone coming out in July)...



  • Reply 17 of 68
    ifailifail Posts: 463member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    According to MobileCrunch, the iPhone has been aggressively marketed by carrier SoftBank Mobile, the exclusive wireless provider of the iPhone in Japan. "TV commercials virtually around the clock, print ads in major media, super-competitive pricing etc. do have an effect, it seems," the report said.



    They must be quite some deals then, iirc softbank was giving the 3G away for free practically due to horrid sales, because atypically the japanese tend to reject products not their own or have slow adoption rates.



    Still, according to current sales charts Sharp is on top with Sony then Panasonic (talk about trying to remember katakana from highschool lol) the the 32GB 3GS and 16GB 3GS.



    With that being said, its hard to really say what a smartphone is in Japan...there are regular phones out there that rival even the iphone/blackberry/android it terms of specs, power, but they just have incredibly terrible software. What we would classify as a smartphone in the states is something they've had already for the past 2 years, hell most phones over there are packing 5MP cams while the majority of our highest tech smartphones dont even have that.



    Also, it doesnt take much to top the sales charts in Japan unlike here in America where you need millions to be on top, you can easily be on the top 10 sales chart selling just a few thousand phones



    EDIT: http://bcnranking.jp/category/subcategory_0010.html google translate if you cant read
  • Reply 18 of 68
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    It's interesting that most Japanese Symbian and Linux phones aren't included in these figures. Outside of Symbian and Linux, Japan has never really had a smartphone market. Windows Mobile and Blackberry devices have always sold in very small quantities.



    Maybe I'm blind but I can't see any figures in the report for units sold. Anyone care to help?
  • Reply 19 of 68
    aizmovaizmov Posts: 989member
    It is great to see the iPhone successful in Japan. A great product and a well deserved success.



    The Japanese are proud people , it takes a really exceptional product to make them consider foreign over domestic. Which is the main reason the XBox 360 is a failure there



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MobileMe View Post


    リンゴ素晴らしいです!アップルiPhoneを席巻している!



    Machine translation actually translated Apple (アップル) into リンゴ (ringo)
  • Reply 20 of 68
    Congratulations Apple!



    I don't have a iPhone, I'm waiting for a few things to occur first.



    1: Price for the iPhone to drop to realistic levels.



    2: More carriers and better pricing. This "we are overloaded and need to charge more to reduce use" by AT&T is not the customers fault. It's theirs by not building a fat pipe and growing into it instead of the other way around.



    3: Better iPhone privacy and security. See my post in iPhone Forum to be scared sh*tless.



    http://forums.appleinsider.com/showthread.php?t=105269



    4: There is a problem with the small screen. Perhaps a MyVue type device will work, but then I can't see my hands. I could get reading glasses, but that's a pain too. So I would like to see a larger, perhaps a tablet 'kindle sized' iPhone version that can automatically scale the text/images/pages. Wide enough so a typical adult hand could hold it.



    5: Yes a inward facing video camera too, so I can tele-conference using iChat.





    So the iPhone is not ready for my needs. Perhaps the iTablet will be.
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