Apple Becomes Top-Selling Phone Manufacturer in Japan After Six-Year Battle

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    Counterpoint Research says that the shift in popularity from advanced feature phones to smartphones is likely to be a permanent one.
    Article Link: Apple Becomes Top-Selling Phone Manufacturer in Japan After Six-Year Battle
  2. Xgm541 macrumors 65816

    May 3, 2011
  3. kjs862 macrumors 65816


    Jan 21, 2004
    Apple is not battling for market share, please.
  4. inlinevolvo macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2012
  5. CptnJustc macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2007
    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.
  6. princetanha macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2012
    Fujisto and Sharp ? I just now know that they produce smartphones
  7. extricated macrumors 6502


    Jul 14, 2011
    "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?
  8. shartypants macrumors 6502a


    Jul 27, 2010
    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.
  9. Karma*Police macrumors 68000

    Jul 15, 2012
    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.
  10. dokujaryu macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Irvine, California
  11. nervouk macrumors member


    Jul 13, 2002
    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.
  12. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    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.


    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.
  13. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    Nearly every one who can manage to make one has made one, even Dell, Toshiba, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Asus, NEC, and Sharp.


    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")


    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.
  14. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    Apparently Hattori Hanzo is making the phones in Japan, that's why its taken so long.

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