Apple's iPhone 5s & 5c take 9 of Japan's top 10 smartphone sales spots

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Just over two months after Apple launched its new iPhone 5s and 5c across Japan's three major carriers, weekly sales rankings list various iPhone models split between the carriers took 9 of the top 10 smartphone slots.

Japan top 3 phones


Weekly sales rankings by Japan's BCN list Softbank's 32GB iPhone 5s as the nation's the top seller, with the same model on NTT DoCoMo and au/KDDI filling out the top three.

iPhone 5c on Softbank and au took the fifth and sixth spots, while the second place DoCoMo phone was the high end 64GB iPhone 5s.

Japan loves the iPhone


The top selling smartphone not from Apple wasn't a domestic branded smartphone or a Samsung model but rather a low end Chinese device by ZTE.

Sony represented two models in the top 20, while the top selling Samsung device was a Galaxy S4 at 16th, behind two additional iPhone models: 64GB versions of iPhone 5s on au and NTT DoCoMo. In total, Apple took 12 of the top 20 slots compared to just one Samsung device.

NTT DoCoMo pulls a Verizon

Prior to launching iPhone 5s and 5c in September, NTT DoCoMo had been pushing Android phones from Sony and Samsung in an effort to resist Apple's refusal to allow preinstalled apps or carrier branding on its iPhones.

Two years ago, Chief Executive Ryuji Yamada defended his refusal to carry iPhones using the same logic Wired presented two years before that: the lack of built in support for popular features like iMode messaging and digital wallet systems.

After losing 3.2 million users over the last 4 and a half years by not carrying the iPhone, NTT DoCoMo finally relented and began carrying Apple's smartphone this fall.

The majority of the carrier's sales immediately went to iPhones, mirroring a virtually identical story at Verizon Wireless in the U.S.

Verizon spent two years backing BlackBerry's attempts to provide an iPhone-alternative with two failed generations of the Storm, then orchestrated an intense effort to position Android as its "Droid" branded alternative to iPhone in 2010.

Despite offering 4G LTE service, Verizon's Droid program failed to attract the high value data subscribers AT&T was attracting with iPhones. After launching iPhone 4 in 2011, Verizon reported the 3G model outselling all of its Android 4G sales combined.

Japan doesn't love Samsung

Just as Motorola had partnered with Verizon in 2010 in an attempt to gain a footing on a carrier without iPhones, Samsung had attempted to partner with NTT DoCoMo to "improve its brand image in Japan," stated Sumio Hiroshi, a manager at Canon in Japan.

While special incentives and promotions helped Samsung to push volume smartphone sales on NTT DoCoMo this summer, just as Motorola had apparent success in selling phones on Verizon in 2010, its popularity was short lived when it was exposed to competition from Apple's iPhone.



Complicating Samsung's efforts to sell phones to Japan is an unfavorable view of South Korea related to a territorial dispute over islands located between the two nations, a squabble that has been escalating for years.

In 2011, Japan's foreign ministry instructed its staffers not fly with Korean Air. The two countries have long maintained a rivalry. In stark contrast, modern Japan has long viewed America more favorably, with a particular affinity for Apple and in particular Steve Jobs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 37

    So Apple was right about the 5c after all?

  • Reply 2 of 37
    quadra 610 wrote: »
    So Apple was right about the 5c after all?

    Apple doesn't get everything right, but they do get many things right. I'm not surprised at all.
  • Reply 3 of 37
    If I'm looking at this right, the 32 gb models are more popular than the 16 gb models.
  • Reply 4 of 37
    So Apple is selling likely more than 15x phones than Samsung and despite that, Android is outselling IOS 4 to 1 ?

    If there was a need to get a proof that all numbers about android are totally bullshit, this is it. When you rank at the 9 first places of sales you are, with the usual distribution of numbers ,getting at least 80% of the market, I would say.

    This is only Japan of course, and all markets are different, but this is a quite big one.

    Now, average ASP will be a thing to look after. It is quite unusual for a company bestseller to be the top of range, and here we have both the 32 & 64 versions of the 5s doing really well !
  • Reply 5 of 37
    thedbathedba Posts: 444member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lukefrench View Post



    So Apple is selling likely more than 15x phones than Samsung and despite that, Android is outselling IOS 4 to 1 ?



    If there was a need to get a proof that all numbers about android are totally bullshit, this is it. When you rank at the 9 first places of sales you are, with the usual distribution of numbers ,getting at least 80% of the market, I would say.



    This is only Japan of course, and all markets are different, but this is a quite big one.



    Now, average ASP will be a thing to look after. It is quite unusual for a company bestseller to be the top of range, and here we have both the 32 & 64 versions of the 5s doing really well !

    If you take the sum of all Androids all over the world vs the iPhone, then yes Android is outselling the iPhone, however Apple does not compete at the very low end and it does not compete world wide either.  The China Mobile deal is about to be closed and yes, they will increase their share of that market. However think of some other big markets where they are absent. India, Africa, South America. When that starts happening watch for more growth. I don't expect iOS to overtake Android in the overall market but I do expect them to dominate in the high end market and definitely in the profit-share and usage markets.

  • Reply 6 of 37

    Apple doom

  • Reply 7 of 37

    It would be equally correct to say the iPhone 5s, 5c take 9 of Japan's top 9 smartphone sales.

  • Reply 8 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

     

    So Apple was right about the 5c after all?


     

    OR...  every analyst is wrong.

     

    The bottom line is the 5c is the 'wheeler-dealer' phone.  It allows deeper discounts and bundling without affecting profits as much.   It has the iPhone '5' cachet, at a lower price.  It's not meant to be the highest volume selling phone... it's meant to be the 'next phone' you'd think about if you don't have he money or the need for a 5s

  • Reply 9 of 37
    thedba wrote: »
    If you take the sum of all Androids all over the world vs the iPhone, then yes Android is outselling the iPhone, however Apple does not compete at the very low end and it does not compete world wide either.  The China Mobile deal is about to be closed and yes, they will increase their share of that market. However think of some other big markets where they are absent. India, Africa, South America. When that starts happening watch for more growth. I don't expect iOS to overtake Android in the overall market but I do expect them to dominate in the high end market and definitely in the profit-share and usage markets.

    Exactly. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    iOS is from one company... and Android is from 100 companies. Apple will never outsell the sheer volume of devices that run Android. But do they have to?

    Wendy's will never sell as many hamburgers as McDonald's... but we never hear "Wendy's is doomed" :)
  • Reply 10 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    This is how all these Bull Sheet 'Research' companies get their Android smartphone numbers:

     

    Google announces 1 Billion activations for 2013.

    'Research' company sees which company paid them the most (Samsung)

    Give Samdung 30% of the 1 Billion

    Divide the rest to remaining Android makers

    Get Apples numbers from their financials.

    BOOM.


    Outstanding analysis. You nailed it.

  • Reply 11 of 37
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,465member
    I'd like to see the 5c gamble with plastics pay off, especially with the juicy-fruit colors that seem so aimed at Japan and maybe China.

    And then I'd like to see them put the 5s internals in next year and do the colors for the boring gear heads like me—black, product red, British racing green, etc. Plastic has some advantages out there in the real world.
  • Reply 12 of 37

    I suspect that in Japan the low-end portion of the Android market is a relatively much smaller segment than in the rest of the world.

     

    Japan's feature phones has long been "smarter" than feature phones in the rest of the world, and Japanese are used to some built-in services and WAP versions of websites optimized for very small small screens.

     

    Cheap low-end crippled Android phones are not seen by them as a good replacement for the feature phones they're used to have, and Japanese who do want "modern" smartphones will likely go to the higher end, a market which Apple tends to dominate.

  • Reply 13 of 37
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    I've got the headline:

    "Apple's Desperate Grab in Japan: Three iPhone Models Sink in Sales Ranking, While Android's Asian Conquest Sees ZTE Surge Into Top Ten"
  • Reply 14 of 37
    Japanese loves using quality products. That is their habit to know what is the best quality .
  • Reply 15 of 37
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,517member
    I get a feeling 2014 could be a good year to own AAPL.
  • Reply 16 of 37
    Btw, I wonder how [B]bergermeister[/B] feels about all this.
  • Reply 17 of 37
    "The two countries have long maintained a rivalry. In stark contrast, modern Japan has long viewed America more favorably, with a particular affinity for Apple and in particular Steve Jobs."

    Likewise Steve Jobs was a fan of Japan, especially of Sony & Soto Zen Buddhism. The Japanese know this about him.
  • Reply 18 of 37
    Imagine; DoMoCo (with better coverage) was offering less expensive Samsung phones filled with preinstalled apps (extra value) and losing millions of users to the iPhone on carriers with less coverage. I cannot imagine a more lopsided "win" for Apple. No amount of promotions would stem the erosion of users, it HAD to be an iPhone or they were GONE.

    I don't know if I have ever seen such voluntary loyalty to a brand before this. Anyone think of another?
  • Reply 19 of 37
    This is the first story on Apple Insider that was done with a modern editor... not ONE SINGLE question mark where other punctuation belonged.

    Let me be the first to welcome Apple Insider into the current century!!!!
  • Reply 20 of 37
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Macky the Macky View Post



    Imagine; DoMoCo (with better coverage) was offering less expensive Samsung phones filled with preinstalled apps (extra value) and losing millions of users to the iPhone on carriers with less coverage. I cannot imagine a more lopsided "win" for Apple. No amount of promotions would stem the erosion of users, it HAD to be an iPhone or they were GONE.



    I don't know if I have ever seen such voluntary loyalty to a brand before this. Anyone think of another?

     

    Sony trinitron CRT monitors in the early 90s. People were ready to pay huge premiums to get that (And I was one of them).  When the patents lapsed and competitors started to offer CRTs costing half the price for same quality, people  jumped ship but not before. You got one Sony, you were hooked.

    Zeiss optics, Nikon frames at one point. Leica cameras. Heideneim measurement instruments.

     

    Fein brand grinders. In metal work, shops using that are likely to have the whole plant equiped thusly,  and nobody will sell them anything else.

    Cabasse speakers.

     

    In all cases, that is brands which have an huge competitive edge in quality and durability and customers rewards that. Note that all those dont sell junk. IOW, they are exactly like Apple.

     

    Where the comparison fails is that Apple is not anymore in a niche market. Even Sony trinitron division was a small player on its market.

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