It used to be that Samsung Electronics was the dominant smartphone in the Japanese market and Apple was afraid of the Korean brand from eating more of its market share. But the past year has seen the reverse happening as Samsung is slowly losing its grip on the smartphone market while the iPhone is starting to regain the ground it lost to its erstwhile rival.
For the first time this year, Samsung sold just 1 million phones in the third quarter, compared to the 3.8 million handsets that Apple sold during the same period. At the end of 2012, Samsung had a 17% market share and sold 1.9 million handsets during the last quarter. The following quarter saw a dip to 1.4 million sales and then in the April-June period, it was just 1.3 million handsets sold. Their market share is now down to 9.9%, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.
Understandably, their dipping sales is because of the high demand for the new iPhone 5S and 5C, the first time that Apple launched two handsets at the same time. For the first time also this quarter, the leader in domestic mobile provider NTT Docomo started offering the iPhones for the first time to its subscriber base. Previously, they were only available through Softbank and KDDI, the second and third biggest service providers locally. Apple now enjoys 34% of the Japanese smartphone market. Another factor is that Japanese-made smartphones are also making advances in terms of market share, with Sony getting 18.9% by selling 1.9 million handsets and Sharp settling in third place with 1.1 million units sold.
[ via Chosunilbo ]