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According to research firm IDC (via GizChina), Apple dominated the smartphone market in Japan over the fourth quarter of 2020, with the iPhone brand accounting for over half of all phone sales in the country.

japan-iphone-12.jpg

As per the report, the mobile market reached 11.432 million shipments in Q4 2020, and 52.6% of all smartphone sales in Japan were iPhones, substantially contributing to a 10.6% year-on-year growth for the country's mobile market as a whole.

Apple's shipments totaled 6.015 million units in Japan, a 13.8% year-on-year increase in shipments, thanks mostly to the company's release of its 5G-capable iPhone 12 series.

In second place behind Apple came Sharp, with 1.414 million units shipped and a 12.4% market share, while local brand Kyocera was placed third with a 7.0% market share and 801,000 units shipped.

Japan-Mobile-Phone-Market-Q4-2020-IDC.jpg

Samsung took fourth position with a 6.8% slice of the market, shipping 781,000 units, followed by Sony – traditionally a Japanese brand favorite – which came in fifth with 732,000 shipments and a 6.4% share, with other smaller brands making up the rest of shipments.

Looking at 2020 as a whole, Apple sold the most smartphones in Japan with a 46.5% market share, shipping 15.637 million units that earned it an 8.3% year-on-year growth. Meanwhile, Sharp, Fujitsu, Samsung, and Kyocera took 13.3%, 8.3%, 8.1%, and 7.5% market shares, respectively, with smaller domestic brands accounting for the rest.

Despite a delay in the launch of the iPhone 12 series in Japan due to the global health crisis, Apple remained the undisputed champion mobile brand in the country, where iOS regularly accounts for over 60 percent of the operating system market, compared to 50 percent of the market in the United States. Japan also regularly comes out top in terms of countries where iPhone models are least expensive.

Article Link: Apple Dominated Japan's Smartphone Market in 2020
 

B4U

macrumors 68040
Oct 11, 2012
3,268
3,503
Undisclosed location
The sad part is, Sony used to be one of the major competitor in that market.
They have really lost their way until the Xperia 1-II.
 

Freeangel1

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2020
1,152
1,695
my iPhone 12 Pro Max SUCKS.
Speaker crackles. poor sound. 5G not that fast. My iPhone 8 Plus was faster with 5G evolution. audio cuts in and out. Samsung has a much better screen.

The Samsung S20 Ultra and S21 are a better phone. Hands down. Probably the last iPhone I buy.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Westmere
Jul 12, 2016
37,602
42,224
That’s insane that Sony only represents 6.4% of that graph in terms of overall dominance. So my thoughts are, obviously the more models and options with various price ranges, broadens the scope for the choices.

Perhaps that was limiting these other manufacturers, that are not offering models with those price points, which Apple has expanded their lineup over the last five years. But then again, ‘branding’ is another significant factor in other countries.
 
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iGüey

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2020
311
306
Mexico City
I think that most people in the world from every countries would like to have an iPhone, the problem actually is that not everybody has enough money to afford it. The proportion of iPhone vs Android is much bigger in wealthy countries than is in third world countries.

It’s all down to an economic issue, as simple as that.
 
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TakeshimaIslands

macrumors member
Feb 28, 2020
72
113
Apple nailed it in Japan. They have thoroughly studied that market. It paid off.

Amazing how everything has gone full circle going from Japanese dominance in electronics to Apple ruling in Japan in a short space of time when 10 years ago everyone was using a NEC, Sony, Fujitsu, Kyocera, Sharp , Panasonic etc keitai phone.

I remember when Steve Jobs praised Japanese electronics when he a compared Sony Vaio Tz Laptop to the 'new' macbook air and Xperia phones to the 'new' iphone.
I dont think he could imagine in 2021 that Apple computers, tablets and Phones would have near market dominance in the Japanese market.


Some pointless trivia about the Japanese market. Samsung deliberately remove or minimize visible samsung branding for products sold in Japan to hide its south korean origins https://www.galaxymobile.jp/

This was mainly due to the massive backlash and boycott when samsung management made the insane decision to remove all 'Japanese culture' references starting from touchwiz 6.0 , so they censored, removed or replaced Japanese emojis which was a dumb move because it breaks the standardized legacy unicode specification.

some examples:

? Japanese crossed flags Replaced with South Korean crossed flags

? Tokyo tower replaced by generic

? map of Japan was removed, if someone sent you this emoji it would be a blank box

? Japanese dolls replaced with korean dolls wearing traditional Hanbok

there is more but don't want to wall of text this post..


Samsung reversed this eventually but the animosity remains hence the galaxymobile sans samsung branding for Japanese market stands to this day.
 

Mr. Dee

macrumors 68040
Dec 4, 2003
3,904
6,540
Jamaica
I suspect Apple has easily sold 100 million iPhone 12 devices already or close to that since launch. That’s impressive in a global pandemic. I’m tempted the upgrade, but I truly want 5G to mature a little bit more and my X and 6s really does what I need being stuck on WiFi at home. But there is just not stopping the iPhone it’s basically like printing money.
 

iAFC

macrumors regular
Sep 24, 2005
170
361
Florianópolis
Amazing how everything has gone full circle going from Japanese dominance in electronics to Apple ruling in Japan in a short space of time when 10 years ago everyone was using a NEC, Sony, Fujitsu, Kyocera, Sharp , Panasonic etc keitai phone.

I remember when Steve Jobs praised Japanese electronics when he a compared Sony Vaio Tz Laptop to the 'new' macbook air and Xperia phones to the 'new' iphone.
I dont think he could imagine in 2021 that Apple computers, tablets and Phones would have near market dominance in the Japanese market.


Some pointless trivia about the Japanese market. Samsung deliberately remove or minimize visible samsung branding for products sold in Japan to hide its south korean origins https://www.galaxymobile.jp/

This was mainly due to the massive backlash and boycott when samsung management made the insane decision to remove all 'Japanese culture' references starting from touchwiz 6.0 , so they censored, removed or replaced Japanese emojis which was a dumb move because it breaks the standardized legacy unicode specification.

some examples:

? Japanese crossed flags Replaced with South Korean crossed flags

? Tokyo tower replaced by generic

? map of Japan was removed, if someone sent you this emoji it would be a blank box

? Japanese dolls replaced with korean dolls wearing traditional Hanbok

there is more but don't want to wall of text this post..


Samsung reversed this eventually but the animosity remains hence the galaxymobile sans samsung branding for Japanese market stands to this day.
Really interesting trivia, never heard about that. Makes me despise Samsung even more.
BTW, I'm watching "Japanese Style Originator" on Netflix. It's just awesome. Dreaming about visiting your beautiful country as soon as this plague ends.
 
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69Mustang

macrumors 604
Jan 7, 2014
7,881
15,025
In between a rock and a hard place
“Apple's iPhone is a hit everywhere in the world — except for Japan.
It turns out that Apple's video-playing, music-downloading, motion-sensing handset is just too, well, backward for the Japanese market.”


Fox News, 2015
Wait, are you trying to imply 6 year old information related to 6 year old market conditions might somehow be relevant to Japanese consumer habits 6 years later? Cuz if so, I mean... heh, okay I guess.

"We're number 1 in the world... THE WORLD!!11!! - Nokia, 2005.
Am I doin' that right? :D
 

Nipommu

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2011
221
112
Is this actually a surprise? Countries where standard of living is high, most of them have disposable income, buy nice cars, live in decent homes .. they tend to buying either Apple or Samsung. If you look at wealthy nations brands like Apple and other luxury companies dominate.

This is why cheap, low quality brands like huawei and xiaomi dmoinate in China. China's standard of living is really low and most people just don't have money. Well i guess not the top 0.5% percentile who drive nice cars and own homes like the rest of us. Thats why you see xiaomi and huawei all these discount brands are #1 in china because they're cheap or otherwise they cannot compete with giants like apple and samsung. Most of their sales are WITHIN china because nobody wants them elsewhere in the globe.

Wealthy nations with high quality of living and who are very developed like Japan, US, Germany, UK, Korea, Canada, etc etc Apple dominate.
 

iamPro

macrumors regular
May 15, 2009
225
134
...
Some pointless trivia about the Japanese market. Samsung deliberately remove or minimize visible samsung branding for products sold in Japan to hide its south korean origins https://www.galaxymobile.jp/

This was mainly due to the massive backlash and boycott when samsung management made the insane decision to remove all 'Japanese culture' references starting from touchwiz 6.0 , so they censored, removed or replaced Japanese emojis which was a dumb move because it breaks the standardized legacy unicode specification.

some examples:

? Japanese crossed flags Replaced with South Korean crossed flags

? Tokyo tower replaced by generic

? map of Japan was removed, if someone sent you this emoji it would be a blank box

? Japanese dolls replaced with korean dolls wearing traditional Hanbok

there is more but don't want to wall of text this post..

Samsung reversed this eventually but the animosity remains hence the galaxymobile sans samsung branding for Japanese market stands to this day.

Hmm,
Here's the conventional understanding for the removal

  • Samsung's struggle in Japan relative to other markets due to strong preference for domestic brands
  • "the underlying pretense that Japan, as a collective, is unwilling to accept the fact that Korea has surpassed it in terms of mobile technology"

Hence, Samsung Officially announced (and was globally reported) its logo removal strategy in Japan. So, even if there were any such alleged backlash prior to the removal, I don't see making an official announcement being any helpful.

To the contrary, you make it seem like Samsung first removed the emoticons, then received backlash, and in response removed their logo to deceive the Japanese.

So far from what I've searched, the reason for the removal of some of the emoji's, at best, is unknown (https://blog.emojipedia.org/samsung-puts-japan-back-on-the-map/).

And at the very least is not related to the removal of the Samsung logo as the dates do not add up to support your claim. Based on the link you provided (https://emojipedia.org/), they were removed after the removal of Samsung's logo in 2015.

  • Tokyo tower never had a dedicated look and has been using a generic tower until the change in 2018.
  • The map of Japan was removed in 2016 after the removal of the Samsung logo.
  • The Japanese doll has never been replaced with hanbok wearing dolls.
    https://emojipedia.org/

Further, it is known that other emoticons were also removed, not including the handful of Japan specific ones. Yes, there's only a handful - not so much that requiries a "wall of text" as you claimed.

Now, the crossed Japanese flag that was replaced by the crossed Korean flag in 2015 (couldn't find which was removed first as both are reported to have been removed/replaced in 2015 - early April is all I found regarding the Samsung logo). This perhaps is the only controversial move, only assuming the flag was removed before the Samsung logo.

  • However Samsung's smartphone market share in Japan was always struggling in Japan (partly due to brand nationalism), which is the more logical reason behind removing its brand.
  • Samsung, a Korean company, with already low market share in Japan deciding to replace the crossed Japanese flag emoticon on all their phones (catering towards larger non-Japanese market share) with the missing crossed Korean flag isn't all that unimaginable. Note, there's only one crossed flag (Japanese crossed flag) in the full Unicode Emoji list. So, why the big backlash, if there were any, over a single emoji that only Japan got to enjoy. Perhaps the more understandable backlash would have come from Korea where the market share was much larger, for the lone crossed flag emoji being a Japanese one.

So, I just don't see the drama (mainly blaming Samsung) associating the emoticons and Samsung's logo.

I get the Samsung hate here, and perhaps in Japan (the emoticons were removed for some time after all). Not preferring one brand over another based on preference and subjective opinions is one thing, but unfounded dislike of a brand is just disingenuous.
 
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LillDrutten

macrumors regular
Oct 15, 2008
189
48
Sharp (#3 in Japan) and Kyocera (4# in JP) phones ? I have never heard of theses brands for smartphones in EU market

Wtf
Sharp is a Foxconn brand. Foxconn are one of the ones that actually build the Apple products, i think they build the Pixels and Sony's too. They are probably sold in EU under some other name. They own the name Nokia so a wild guess is the Nokia and Sharp is the same device.
 
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bubulol

macrumors 6502a
Mar 7, 2013
961
271
Its funny to notice, Japanese loves Apple devices, like Macrumors has titled , its a total domination: half of market
In the other hands, they boycott Xbox consoles and most of american products, Japan is known for being self nationalist/patriotic
Why Apple succeed?
China is the counter example: Apple need to share market with chinese competitors
Oppo, Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo
 
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