Thanks to the new iPhones that went on sale last month in Japan, Apple has gained 34% of the smartphone sales in Japan, becoming the first brand in 10 years to break the 30% barrier. The increase in sales is attributed to leading mobile operator NTT Docomo finally offering iPhones to their subscribers, according to Counterpoint Research.
Former domestic mobile phone leader Sharp, during its heyday as the number one phone in Japan only managed to reach a 26% share at the most. Now it has to compete with Apple and Korean brands like Samsung and LG to even make a dent in the market. Another Japanese mobile brand, Sony, has also been struggling locally. The foreign brands have more than half of the market share as compared to less than a fifth just three years ago. What was once a closed country for foreign brands has suddenly emerged to be one of the biggest smartphone markets, embracing the iOS and Android platforms.
NTT Docomo resisted carrying the Apple brand due to its preference for other phones, but after five years of losing customers to other carriers, they decided to finally offer it to consumers. According to Counterpoint director Neil Shah, that made a huge difference to Apple’s market share in Japan. In September alone, the iPhone 5s generated almost half a million units sold. Great news for Apple, bad news for local smartphone brands.
[ via Tech in Asia ]