Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
52,179
13,803
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png

MobileCrunch details a research report [Google translation] released last week by Japanese market research firm Impress R&D showing that the iPhone commands 46.1% of the smartphone market there.
For this year, Impress sees the 3G commanding 24.6% in this segment, while the 3GS contributes another 21.5%. The 3G was introduced in Japan in summer 2008 (the 3GS followed earlier this year). Sources in Japan say that the iPhone user base in Japan now stands at 3 million, which is an impressive 10% of the global userbase.
MobileCrunch points to very aggressive advertising, including widespread print and TV ads and competitive pricing, by wireless carrier SoftBank as being key to the iPhone's success in the market.

The Impress report also reveals unsurprisingly high data usage for iPhone customers, with 66.8% of iPhone 3G and 77.3% of iPhone 3GS users spending more than 30 minutes per day on data communications, well ahead of the 55.3% figure for the entire smartphone market.

Article Link: iPhone Claims 46% of Japanese Smartphone Market
 

yoshe200

macrumors member
Oct 4, 2005
41
0
Champaign, IL
... That's because no one in Japan uses a smartphone.
Regular phones in Japan are powerful enough.. they have TVs and stuff on their phones. o_O
 
Comment

ibwb

macrumors regular
Mar 7, 2006
170
21
Incredible if true. Good to see Apple getting serious about Japan. They have always struggled over there and it ought to be such a great market for them, with widespread interest in high-end products.
 
Comment

RaZaK

macrumors regular
Jul 13, 2008
224
0
how is this possible?

don't get me wrong. I fully believe in Uncle Stevie and all his products, but is this really possible when the iPhone doesn't have the features that ANALysts insist are key to adoption in Japan (i.e. Streaming TV, pay services like using phone for train fare, etc.)?

I was just in Tokyo in November, and I didn't see that many iPhones during all the times that I rode the train, went to work, and walked around different neighborhoods (ex: Shinjuku, Akihabara, Harajuku, Roppongi)

Yes, i know not everyone walks around with their cell phones in their hands, but for all the people that I did see with their cell phones out, only 3 out of a large number had iPhones.

btw, as always, regardless of good or bad numbers, :apple: forever always FTW

:D
 
Comment

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
don't get me wrong. I fully believe in Uncle Stevie and all his products, but is this really possible when the iPhone doesn't have the features that ANALysts insist are key to adoption in Japan (i.e. Streaming TV, pay services like using phone for train fare, etc.)?

I was just in Tokyo in November, and I didn't see that many iPhones during all the times that I rode the train, went to work, and walked around different neighborhoods (ex: Shinjuku, Akihabara, Harajuku, Roppongi)

Yes, i know not everyone walks around with their cell phones in their hands, but for all the people that I did see with their cell phones out, only 3 out of a large number had iPhones.

btw, as always, regardless of good or bad numbers, :apple: forever always FTW

:D

Making a great phone takes a helluva lot more than shoving feature after feature into it. Anyone can do that.
 
Comment

sjo

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2005
510
0
I was just in Tokyo in November, and I didn't see that many iPhones during all the times that I rode the train, went to work, and walked around different neighborhoods (ex: Shinjuku, Akihabara, Harajuku, Roppongi)


it all depends how you define smartphone. in my opinion most phones sold in japan nowadays are very much smartphones, having had internet and email capabilities for years, first ones for a decade.

if you define "smartphone" being basicly iphone of course the numbers look nice.

i think japanese mobile phone market is in the neighborhood of 100m devices a year and iphone sells 2m units a year there.

so iphone commands about 2% of japanese smartphone markets.
 
Comment

nick9191

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,353
171
Britain
This is excellent news. Last I heard the iPhone was going down like a dead donkey in Japan.

The Japanese build hardware that puts the iPhone to shame, but when it comes to software there is no competition.
 
Comment

Adlo

macrumors newbie
Jan 11, 2007
3
0
On the ground

Making a great phone takes a helluva lot more than shoving feature after feature into it. Anyone can do that.

Problem is, that the train-kiosk-convenience store-"wallet phone" form one ecosystem, which plays an important part of day to day life in Japan, especially in the cities.

So, not being able to use your iPhone to board the trains or buy a can of coffee , I would say is a major drawback. Maybe even more so than the TV...
 
Comment

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,639
3
キャンプスワ&#
I love my iPhone 3Gs, and Softbank is a great carrier.
Softbank has surprised me.

I switched from DoCoMo to Softbank to get the iPhone. I'd been a DoCoMo customer for well over 10 years. It was hard to make the switch. But so far, I've been pleased.

... That's because no one in Japan uses a smartphone.
Regular phones in Japan are powerful enough.. they have TVs and stuff on their phones. o_O
Good point.

This evening riding the train I was sitting by a fellow watching TV on his phone.

So by definition, what is a smart phone? I think it is becoming more convoluted these days.

Making a great phone takes a helluva lot more than shoving feature after feature into it. Anyone can do that.
That's the truth. The iPhone definitely has one of the best UIs out there.

Damn I thought Japan was too advanced for the iphone.
The typical Japanese cell phone has more features.

However, the question becomes what features do I need that the iPhone does not have that other cell phones have. One is the train/cash card. At first, a few years ago, I thought it would be nice to have them integrated so that I could use my cell phone to pay train and cab fares, plus purchase items at the local convenience store. However, I don't like the way this system is tied to your bank account. I would much rather have a separate train/cash card, in my case Suica. I draw 10,000 yen from my bank account and charge the card with it. If I loose the card, the most that I loose is whatever is on the card at the time. My card has no personal info on it. I like it that way.

The Suica/Pasmo cards are nice when friends visit. Just loan them the card and they don't need to figure out train fares. Very convenient.

TV on a cell phone sounds cool if you are into that. However, your battery doesn't last long when using the TV function.

Dual cameras. In Japan, you can video chat with your cell phone. I tried it when it first came out a few years ago. Cool. But also very expensive. What I found with most of my friends, was that they use the features such a video chat at first then after a month or so many ended up just using the phone and few other features.

With the iPhone and app store, my iPhone is quickly becoming my current PDA. :)
 
Comment

nastebu

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2008
354
0
Problem is, that the train-kiosk-convenience store-"wallet phone" form one ecosystem, which plays an important part of day to day life in Japan, especially in the cities.

So, not being able to use your iPhone to board the trains or buy a can of coffee , I would say is a major drawback. Maybe even more so than the TV...

Ah, not really. It's convenient to be able to use a cell for suica things, but you can just get a card. It's not that big of a deal.

Still, clearly there's an odd definition of "smart phone" bumping these numbers up.
 
Comment

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
Problem is, that the train-kiosk-convenience store-"wallet phone" form one ecosystem, which plays an important part of day to day life in Japan, especially in the cities.

So, not being able to use your iPhone to board the trains or buy a can of coffee , I would say is a major drawback. Maybe even more so than the TV...

True, but for now the App Store is the Big Feature on the iPhone that seems to draw Japanese consumers, plus the UI. Depends what's a priority to the user, really.
 
Comment

sushi

Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
15,639
3
キャンプスワ&#
Ah, not really. It's convenient to be able to use a cell for suica things, but you can just get a card. It's not that big of a deal.
Agree. I prefer a separate Suica or Pasmo card.

Depends what's a priority to the user, really.
Yep, to each his own. The key is to find what works for you.

Not always upgrading to the latest and greatest is the best way to go. Sometimes a more simple approach is more effective for the user.
 
Comment

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,195
Germany.
Incredible if true. Good to see Apple getting serious about Japan. They have always struggled over there and it ought to be such a great market for them, with widespread interest in high-end products.

They have an interest in high TECH products, not necessarily in high END ones. Asia, not unlike Europe and the rest of the world, would probably love to use the iPhone and Mac OS platform, but without being forced to buy Apple hardware.
 
Comment

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,185
679
How big is the smart phone market in Japan exactly?

1-2 million?
 
Comment

jimmyjoemccrow

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2009
372
0
How big is the smart phone market in Japan exactly?

1-2 million?

The article states 3 million iPhones as 46% of the market. That means somewhere just over 6 million phones is the total smartphone market, by their definition of smartphone.
 
Comment

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,802
587
Redondo Beach, California
... is this really possible when the iPhone doesn't have the features that ANALysts insist are key to adoption in Japan (i.e. Streaming TV, pay services like using phone for train fare, etc.)?

I was just in Tokyo in November, and I didn't see that many iPhones

Apple seems to have defined "smartphone" to be a kind of device that very few people in Japan use. So Apple can sell "half of very few" and claim half the market share.
 
Comment

Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
don't get me wrong. I fully believe in Uncle Stevie and all his products, but is this really possible when the iPhone doesn't have the features that ANALysts insist are key to adoption in Japan (i.e. Streaming TV, pay services like using phone for train fare, etc.)?

I was just in Tokyo in November, and I didn't see that many iPhones during all the times that I rode the train, went to work, and walked around different neighborhoods (ex: Shinjuku, Akihabara, Harajuku, Roppongi)

Yes, i know not everyone walks around with their cell phones in their hands, but for all the people that I did see with their cell phones out, only 3 out of a large number had iPhones.

btw, as always, regardless of good or bad numbers, :apple: forever always FTW

:D

I was just in Japan a few months ago and didn't see that many iPhones. "Smartphone" is the key. What defines a smartphone vs those crazy Japanese flip phones?
 
Comment

nwcs

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2009
2,041
2,825
Tennessee
Apple seems to have defined "smartphone" to be a kind of device that very few people in Japan use. So Apple can sell "half of very few" and claim half the market share.

Apple didn't write or publish this report so Apple isn't claiming anything.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.