While Apple‘s stronghold on other markets has gotten weaker, in Japan it still is the dominant smartphone brand according to data released by the International Data Corporation (IDC). Shipment numbers show that 25% of all smartphones shipped to Japan were iPhones, 23.5% Fujitsu phones and 9.5% are Samsung.
The iPhone has been heavily promoted by two major teleco operators, Softbank and KDDI. Samsung sales have mainly come from NTT DoCoMo, which doesn’t carry the iPhone. However, the country’s largest business newspaper, the Nikkei, has reported that they might be rethinking that strategy since they have lost a number of subscribers who want an iPhone instead of the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Note. As with everything else that Apple launches, the iPhone 5 launch saw long lines last October and even had stock shortages early on. But it isn’t just new Apple products that sell in Japan; even their older models are a hit with the lower-end market, where they are sold without a teleco contract tying the consumer down.
IDC market analyst Michito Kimura said that this latest data is more about shipment numbers rather than sales, although Apple’s sales are also through the roof. But domestic brands like Fujitsu and Sharp are also doing well domestically even if they almost have no presence in international markets. Fujitsu’s RakuRaku phone, with its large icons and texts and simple functions, targets the older users who need a phone, but don’t want the complicated smartphones. But they also released a smartphone version that they are aggressively marketing through NTT DoCoMo. Sharp has been successful using the IGZO technology in its new handsets, where smartphones can last for two days because the IGZO screen uses less power than normal screens. Samsung, on the other hand, has experienced a huge drop in shipments from the second quarter number of 17.3% to just under 10% in the third quarter.
[ via Computer World ]