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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:37 AM   #1
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Apple Becomes Top-Selling Phone Manufacturer in Japan After Six-Year Battle




The iPhone was the best-selling phone in Japan throughout the whole of the last year, the first time the title has ever been taken from a Japanese firm, according to Counterpoint Research's Country Market Share Report (via The Next Web). The number one slot had been held by local firm Sharp for the previous six years.

Apple grabbed 15% of the market, just ahead of local firms Sharp and Fujitsu, at 14% each. Apple had previously taken the number one slot for single quarters as new product launches hit, seen with the 4S launch in 2011, but has never before held its position for an entire year.

Samsung, LG and Huawei all increased their shares, with non-Japanese companies now owning over half the market for the first time. Japan has always been a difficult market for overseas manufacturers, with non-standard networks and an early lead in sophisticated web-enabled feature phones limiting demand for smartphones. Electronista suggests that the shift is in large part due to a carrier battle as Softbank and KDDI challenged market leader NTT Docomo.
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Both saw having the iPhone as a strategic advantage over the island nation's largest carrier, NTT Docomo, and promoted the iPhone heavily. Docomo responded with campaigns that emphasized foreign-made Android phones, the first time it had aggressively marketed foreign brands. As a result, the Japanese market had more than 50 percent of the available share split between foreign-owned companies (primarily Apple, Samsung and LG) for the first time.
Counterpoint Research says that the shift in popularity from advanced feature phones to smartphones is likely to be a permanent one.
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Japan was once considered to be like a Galapagos Island, an isolated terrain, in terms of mobile technology. It had its own unique digital cellular technology. It was far more advanced than any market in the world and it seemed nearly impossible for any foreign technology company to penetrate the market. Motorola had failed and Nokia had failed. The wave of smartphones has changed the situation now and it looks like the Japanese market is a market that can be transformed after all for better or worse.
Article Link: Apple Becomes Top-Selling Phone Manufacturer in Japan After Six-Year Battle
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:41 AM   #2
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Apple is doomed. DOOOOOMED.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:41 AM   #3
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Apple is not battling for market share, please.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 09:50 AM   #4
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Apple has shamed the local competition.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:01 AM   #5
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When I lived in Japan (2001-2003), it was stunning how many light years ahead they seemed in terms of the phones available and adoption of phones with extra features that at the time would have prompted what-do-you-need-that-fors in the States. I went from a Motorola black and white brick whose killer app was listing the last ten calls and their times to a sexy phone with what at the time seemed like a gorgeous color screen, internet connectivity, and a camera (though, granted, the last two were pretty crappy). They seemed so close, but after years they never really went into smartphone territory. Glad Apple could help smash that barrier in Japan as well.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:04 AM   #6
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Fujisto and Sharp ? I just now know that they produce smartphones
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:07 AM   #7
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"it looks like the Japanese market is a market that can be transformed after all for better or worse"

That struck me as funny.

So since this is a first, it's yet to be seen whether it is good or bad?
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:11 AM   #8
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From what I heard, in Japan the service providers used to tell the phone manufacturers what features they wanted in a phone (they had power), but then Apple strolls in and totally breaks that up. As a result, they have better phones in Japan now.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 10:55 AM   #9
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Apple has a long term plan for growth with its carrier hopping strategy which a lot of people fail to recognize. All they need to do is sign up more carriers to keep growing. Samsung, OTOH, has already stated that growth will be harder to come by, and it's in large part due to them already being available on most carriers... I think almost twice as many as Apple.

Apple will continue to suck up profits as they hop from carrier to carrier, putting the squeeze on weaker players, and even Samsung will start to feel the pain. And if Apple releases a 5" iPhone? Game, set, match.
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Old Feb 13, 2013, 11:37 PM   #10
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I hear apple is huge in Japan.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 05:20 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by shartypants View Post
From what I heard, in Japan the service providers used to tell the phone manufacturers what features they wanted in a phone (they had power), but then Apple strolls in and totally breaks that up. As a result, they have better phones in Japan now.
That's true, and it's the reason you still can't get an iPhone on NTT DoCoMo, the largest Japanese carrier by far. Apple wouldn't let them put branding or software on the iPhone and negotiations broke down. It was an unstoppable-force-meets-immovable-object moment.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 07:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dokujaryu View Post
I hear apple is huge in Japan.
Its big but not huge. I see far more non Apple phones here I would say it is like ten or more to one non Apple but that is changing just two years ago I hardly saw any iPhone. But a fifteen percent market share is far from dominating the market as someone said earlier. And while Apple is growing here the Japanese strongly support Japanese brands and I expect the new Sony phone to do really well and give the iPhone some strong competition.

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Originally Posted by nervouk View Post
That's true, and it's the reason you still can't get an iPhone on NTT DoCoMo, the largest Japanese carrier by far. Apple wouldn't let them put branding or software on the iPhone and negotiations broke down. It was an unstoppable-force-meets-immovable-object moment.
You can get it but you need to buy an unlocked phone and pop a DoCoMo sim card in. Its easy and pretty common since DoCoMo has a better network than soft bank.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:14 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by princetanha View Post
Fujisto and Sharp ? I just now know that they produce smartphones
Nearly every one who can manage to make one has made one, even Dell, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Asus, NEC, and Sharp.

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Originally Posted by marc11 View Post
Its big but not huge. I see far more non Apple phones here I would say it is like ten or more to one non Apple but that is changing just two years ago I hardly saw any iPhone. But a fifteen percent market share is far from dominating the market as someone said earlier. And while Apple is growing here the Japanese strongly support Japanese brands and I expect the new Sony phone to do really well and give the iPhone some strong competition.

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You can get it but you need to buy an unlocked phone and pop a DoCoMo sim card in. Its easy and pretty common since DoCoMo has a better network than soft bank.


I really don't know about you but 9 in 10 of my friends either has or is getting an iPhone here(in Japan). Also I'm pretty sure Docomo went from "DoCoMo" to "Docomo" quite a long time ago.(And for those of you interested in Japanese on macrumors Docomo means "everywhere")

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Originally Posted by nervouk View Post
That's true, and it's the reason you still can't get an iPhone on NTT DoCoMo, the largest Japanese carrier by far. Apple wouldn't let them put branding or software on the iPhone and negotiations broke down. It was an unstoppable-force-meets-immovable-object moment.
Nicely put. Love your phrasing. I read somewhere that Docomo is in negotiations with apple. I really hope they work it out as I use Docomo.
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Old Mar 6, 2013, 09:21 AM   #14
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Apparently Hattori Hanzo is making the phones in Japan, that's why its taken so long.
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