Japanese iPhone 3G sales better than reported

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Despite a widely publicized report that suggested iPhone sales in Japan were less than half of initial expectations, independent data shows that sales are right in line with expectations in a market that is often difficult for Western companies to enter.



An online post published by the Wall Street Journal indicated that Apple was set to fall far short of an expected million unit goal, that Japanese users would avoid the App Store out of a fear of online commerce, and that the iPhone 3G is priced too high for the Japanese market.



The report was not based on actual sales reports from the tight lipped Softbank, Apple's exclusive iPhone 3G partner in Japan, but rather numbers from MM Research Institute, which estimated that 200,000 units were sold over the first two months. The original article also cited unnamed analysts who set minimum expectations of a million units, and predicted actual shipments would only hit half that by the end of the year.



iPhone 3G shipments in line with expectations



However, an independent market research cited in The Australian indicated that iPhone sales were on track. “Gerhard Fasol, of telecoms consultancy Eurotechnology Japan, estimates they [Softbank] shifted between 75,000 and 125,000 units in July. At that rate, he thinks 2008 sales could total between 645,000 and 1 million."



Additionally, the Journal itself presented that the 16GB iPhone 3G in Japan was within $25 of its US price, and that unit and service fees were also in the same range as competing models.



While the iPhone does lack some features common to the Japanese market, Takeshi Natsuno, the inventor of Japan’s i-mode mobile web service and former Senior Vice President NTT DoCoMo, stated in an interview, “I believe the iPhone is closer to the mobile phone of the future, compared with the latest Japanese mobile phones.”



As for Japanese interest in the iPhone App Store, mobile developer Smule has posted usage data that shows half of the top ten cities using the company's 'virtual lighter software' are located in Japan.



Hard market to crack



The fact that the iPhone is well represented in Japan is notable considering the difficulty Apple and other Western companies have had in entering the market. For years, Apple reported disappointing Mac sales in the country, where many users rely on smartphones in place of desktop computers. However, in its latest financial reports this summer, Apple noted that Mac sales have taken off and that the company was seeing growth four to five times faster than the overall market.



Japanese smartphone sales are particularly difficult to crack into because of long term contracts and steep fees to transfer mobile numbers between operators; world leader Nokia has taken less than 1% market share in the country. However, Softbank reported right from the beginning a surge in new activations transferred in from rivals, about which company representatives said, "We believe our large net growth was an iPhone effect."
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    irelandireland Posts: 17,522member
    When I saw the title I knew who wrote the story. Just sayin'
  • Reply 2 of 76
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    Apple, iPhone FREE from any contract or any telecom company to boost sales, NOW!
  • Reply 3 of 76
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Reporters that don't do their homework would just repeat Apple's lack of success in Japan. This is good news. The halo effect is now taking Japan by storm. Mac sales are spiking and the iPhone is doing as well as expected. Great news all around. All this without a Mac netbook or a mini tower. Though I would appreciate both from Apple.
  • Reply 4 of 76
    1) If Takeshi Natsuno, the inventor of Japan’s i-mode mobile web service and former Senior Vice President NTT DoCoMo, stated in an interview, “I believe the iPhone is closer to the mobile phone of the future, compared with the latest Japanese mobile phones.”, then that is a huge win for the iPhone in Japan.



    2) I look forward to seeing how Nokia will react to this news. They certainly have the technical prowess to made headway in the Japanese market.



    3) This has got to being off their rivals.



    4) What can we expect from the iPhone next Summer? A built-in TV over 3G, terrestrial, satellite receiver (or however the Japanese do it), A better camera with integrated or separate barcode reader? HYC G1 can already use standard barcodes for value shopping so I see no reasoning why QR Codes cant be included for the Japanese market.
  • Reply 5 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    When I saw the title I knew who wrote the story. Just sayin'



    The original title was: Japanese iPhone 3G sales better than retarded.
  • Reply 6 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Reporters that don't do their homework would just repeat Apple's lack of success in Japan. This is good news. The halo effect is now taking Japan by storm. Mac sales are spiking and the iPhone is doing as well as expected. Great news all around. All this without a Mac netbook or a mini tower. Though I would appreciate both from Apple.



    If both the rumours of Mac sales growing substantially in Japan are true and the the internet in netbooks in Japan are true then is it possible that were might see an Atom-based netbook making its way to the Japanese market soon?
  • Reply 7 of 76
    Wow, if the iPhone managed to penetrate into japan market, then thats something. Oo, I wonder what Ballmer will say next. Im buying freshly stocked popcorn now
  • Reply 8 of 76
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,386member
    Really, who honestly pays attention to what "analysts" say? If they were so good at "predicting" sales, then perhaps they can predict the next series of SuperLotto numbers. Then, they will have impressed me.



    I supposed investors want to know or perhaps they want to claim bragging rights should their numbers have been spot-on. However, with no real access to sales figures or any other type of on-the-field leads, these analysts are just self-glorified crystal-ball readers.



    These types of articles just encourages more of these wannabe swamis.
  • Reply 9 of 76
    We need the SEC to start investigating reporters and publications who write article based not on facts but on speculation. Are these people short on Apple stock or do they have a motive to see Apple stock fall if so they are violating the law and should be jailed. Wall street has run amuck with lies and speculative reporting to cause common investors to lose money while these crooks make money from the down fall on business. NO ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE A STOCK FALLS IN PRICE.
  • Reply 10 of 76
    boogabooga Posts: 1,076member
    When ChessClock first went on sale, 90% of all sales were to US App Store customers. That's been changing substantially over the past month. This past week, the US share was about 10%... yesterday I sold 12 copies, 1 of them in the US. (2 FR, 2 IT, 2 DK, 1 ES, 1 AU, 1GB, 1 MX, 1 US, and 1 DE). The day before yesterday it was 4 IT, 3 US, 2 CH, 2 NO, 2 GB, 1 BE, 1 FR, 1 AU, 1 PH, 1 GR.



    I assume any analyst worth their salt is tracking a dozen of the more popular apps to determine where iPhones are really being used.



    I honestly don't get many Japanese sales... maybe a couple a week. But Chess is a somewhat Mediterranean-centric game that isn't as popular in the Pacific rim nations, so I don't know how representative that is.



    I'll tell you this, though... the authors of Koi Pond are sitting on a gold mine worth of sales statistics...
  • Reply 11 of 76
    slewisslewis Posts: 2,080member
    Null.
  • Reply 12 of 76
    samabsamab Posts: 1,953member
    Funny how the author used old old old data from eurotechnology japan --- which was based on 3 weeks' worth of iphone sales data in Japan.
  • Reply 13 of 76
    successsuccess Posts: 1,039member
    This has to be a running joke.



    First it was a smokin' debut complete with gang buster line ups, gazillions of reporters and storm troopers then it was low sales now it's back up.



    Which is it? Oh wait...tell us after you made your next buy/sell.



    Does anyone actually believe numbers anyway?
  • Reply 14 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Slewis View Post


    So what is the SEC going to do to reporters or analysts in Japan?



    Sebastian



    "An online post published by the Wall Street Journal"



    So the Wall Street Journal is in Japan?? I think YOU need a map buddy it is in New York which happens to be in the USA.



    American reports and publications who repeat bogus info from some foreigner to create a change in stock prices can not hide behind the fact they just are reporting a foreign source. The SEC should see if the writer or publication stand to gain from a change in the price ( this includes family members)



    Look at the original source an "investment bank" yea I am sure they are unbiased, we have found out in the last few weeks what wonderful honest people they are!
  • Reply 15 of 76
    Well, even if Apple were to only sell 400,000 iPhones, that's a pretty darn good start for a half a year considering it had been said hardly anyone in Japan would be buying iPhones due to the lack of features that come standard on high-end Japanese handsets. I hadn't really considered that the Japanese were also locked into long-term contracts that would slow down the adoption of the iPhone.



    If I were a Japanese handset user and were used to using FeliCa and 1Seg, I don't think I'd be in any rush to switch over. I'd like the idea of paying for things using my handset and if I could watch a program on my way to or from work as a time killer I wouldn't want to give that up either. I'd recently heard that emoji use is due to Japanese usage of short text messages and the emoji helps to express a sort of friendliness into the message and it would almost be rude not to accompany a message with emoji. I'm not much of a fan of smilies or emoticons so it's something I'd really have to evaluate.



    The software for reading those 2D barcodes can be added to the iPhone without much of a problem, so that's not much to overcome. 1Seg could be replaced on the iPhone by a specialized programming stream and it shouldn't take up that much bandwidth. The only thing that so far can't be replaced without hardware is the FeliCa chip.



    I was looking at the Sonic Lighter app and saw that of all the cities and countries that have users, Japan is leading by far for the most lighter ignitions. I'm puzzled over that fact.

    http://app.smule.com/soniclighter/sonicnetwork/

    So even though the Japan's iPhone density shouldn't be very high, the lighter use is three times that of most cities in the world. Maybe the Japanese have been promoting the use by word of mouth or over the internet. It would be nice if this app were to drive iPhone sales in Japan.



    Regardless of current sales in Japan, it may just take time for more Japanese users to switch, especially if there were some games geared to Japanese iPhone users. Apple should promote app development in Japan and see how creative they can be with the iPhone SDK.



    I wish Apple had an app that automatically tracked all iPhones and you could see all the users on a world map. I'd want to see if there were any users in outer-Mongolia or deep in the Amazon rain-forest. There was one user way up in Northern Alaska. That's way off the beaten path.
  • Reply 16 of 76
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by samab View Post


    Funny how the author used old old old data from eurotechnology japan --- which was based on 3 weeks' worth of iphone sales data in Japan.



    Hey iphone hater how are you, Apple and the iphone will keep feeding your trolling self humble pies, going on different forums to hate on a phone, what a bloody joke.
  • Reply 17 of 76
    To think that the only one that really knows how many iPhones Apple sells is Apple? Wow!
  • Reply 18 of 76
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,521member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    When ChessClock first went on sale, 90% of all sales were to US App Store customers. That's been changing substantially over the past month. This past week, the US share was about 10%... yesterday I sold 12 copies, 1 of them in the US. (2 FR, 2 IT, 2 DK, 1 ES, 1 AU, 1GB, 1 MX, 1 US, and 1 DE). The day before yesterday it was 4 IT, 3 US, 2 CH, 2 NO, 2 GB, 1 BE, 1 FR, 1 AU, 1 PH, 1 GR.



    I assume any analyst worth their salt is tracking a dozen of the more popular apps to determine where iPhones are really being used.



    I honestly don't get many Japanese sales... maybe a couple a week. But Chess is a somewhat Mediterranean-centric game that isn't as popular in the Pacific rim nations, so I don't know how representative that is.



    I'll tell you this, though... the authors of Koi Pond are sitting on a gold mine worth of sales statistics...



    You must be excited about the iPhone going on sale in Russia.
  • Reply 19 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kirasaw View Post


    NO ONE SHOULD BE ABLE TO MAKE MONEY BECAUSE A STOCK FALLS IN PRICE.



    Huh? Forget about options and short sales and such: Would you then ban all stock trading?



    In every trade, there is, by definition, an ex-post winner and a loser. For instance, if I bought a share from you expecting the price to go up and the price went up, I gained and you lost; if I sold you a share expecting the price to go down and the price went down, I gained and you lost.



    (Of course, I am assuming that you would only sell when you expect the price to go down, and only buy when you expect the price to go up. I'd like you think about the fact that, if you did so, you are guilty of the same behavior that you would seek to ban!)
  • Reply 20 of 76
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,334member
    deleted
Sign In or Register to comment.