The iPhone Rules Japan

Apple iPhone Huge Sales -

Japan's Best Selling Mobile Telecommunications Device

Well yes, we're talking about the "smartphone," but any reasonable person would agree that the word "phone" is really becoming superflous, vestigial; an evolutionary appendix, if you will, in mobile communications nomenclature. "Mobile telecommunications device" doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, so we'll just have to wait for Apple or whomever to come up with a new name for our always-on, always with us conduits to the ever-growing stream of shared global awareness.

However we decide to categorize the devices, here in Japan, there is clearly one smartphone to rule them all. For more than 3 years now, with a consistently growing marketshare, iterations of Apple's flagship product have been the best selling phones in Japan - and not just among smartphones - that's for the entire mobile telecommmunications market.

Apple at AkihabaraNews

Not only does Apple have the best selling individual device, according in industry analysts at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, they now own a plurality of the entire Japanese mobile market:

Missing the Technology Boat Really Stings

Considering the number of individual models that competitors are churning out, it's all the more impressive. And considering that almost all of the Japanese-made smartphones are running a foreign-made operating system, Android, it's more than a bit embarrassing (Samsung, however, can hold its head up). 

Now, the iPhone is of course an amazing piece of tech, and it was revolutionary - but the snazziness of the device is only half the reason for Apple's success in Japan; domestic makers had a chance to compete, but instead dug in their heels and dug themselves into a hole. While the rest of the world had been getting their Blackberry, Palm, iPhone, and Android on, Sony, Sharp, Fujitsu and friends just sorta just shrugged and kept pumping out the same isolationist feature phones.

The hardware was impressive, and the once ubiquitous Japanese-made flip phones actually were the tip of the technological spear for a long while - and business was good. As such, complacent domestic makers weren't overly interested disrupting a profitable market with any kind of real innovation. Eventually, they aggressively stagnated and were happy just treading water.

Meanwhile, Apple was building a luxury speedboat.

Around 2007-ish, smartphone usage around the world began exploding. In response, conservative J-makers and service providers spent a few years doing little more than pontificating on how innappropriate foreign-made smartphones were for the Japanese market. Then, in late 2008, a guy named Masayoshi Son and the fledgling mobile unit of his Softbank, Inc. took a chance and introuduced the iPhone 3G to Japan. Boom.

Super-late and ultra-shamed J-makers and providers did eventually come around.

For information on how all that's going for them, see the chart above.

• • •

Data Source: Counterpoint Technology Market Research
Images: Counterpoint Technology Market Research;


Related Articles

Reno J. Tibke - June 07, 2014

JTFF - Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! -

This week it’s octopedal Japanese electronics conglomerate OMRON getting its

Terrie's Take -

Terrie’s Take is a selection of Japan-centric news collected and collated by long-time resident and media business professional Terrie Lloyd. AkihabaraNews is pleased to present Terrie’s learned perspective; we all could use another take on the news - here’s Terrie’s:

Eurotechnology Japan KK - September 16, 2014


Eurotechnology Japan is led by its founder Dr. Gerhard Fasol. He has worked in and with the academic, research, and business communities of Japan’s high-tech sector for over 25 years. Eurotechnology Japan is a technology-focused business development, strategy, and M&A advisory and implementation firm.

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! -

This week we’ve just one little nugget to rollout: You might have heard that SoftBank is taking Sharp’s flagship smartphone to the U.S., but what you might not know is that Sharp might have the company of a much larger brother.

• • •

Your smartphone will turn into a digital microscope with Thanko's new Smartphone Microscope.

It is very easy to use. What you have to do is just attach the Smartphone Microscope with the accompanying clip onto any smartphone or iPhone and then you can view a magnified image of an object through the smartphone's screen. It can zoom from 60X up to 100X.

One of the Gyoza on the iPhone case shows inside stuffing that looks so juicy, and the sauce of the smartphone stand looks like real liquid goodness.
iPhone 6 Hyper-Anticipation: It Doesn't Mean What You Think it Means [GUEST ESSAY] -

[The following is very unique opinion essay from a very non-traditional Contributor: AkihabaraNews editor Reno J. Tibke.

au announced that they are going to release Sony's new Android 4.4 smartphone Xperia Z3 SOL26 in late October.

Xperia Z3 SOL26 has a 5.2-inch display (1920×1080), 2.5Ghz quadcore processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM, 20.7MP main camera, and 2MP front camera. It weighs 152g and is only 7.3mm thick. It is IPX5/8 waterproof and IP6X dustproof, and supports NFC, mobile wallet, and Wi-Fi.

NTT docomo Unveils Winter & Spring 2015 Products and Services -

Editor Yoriko attended NTT docomo’s Winter/Spring 2015 Product & Service announcement event held Tuesday here in Tokyo. The complete event gallery is here.

Prosthetic Thumb Conquers Giant-Screened iPhone 6

Reminder: Thanko's Got Your Back
(in the form of some extra thumb)

NTT docomo Intros Samsung’s 5.6-inch GALAXY Note Edge -

Editor Yoriko attended NTT docomo’s Winter/Spring 2015 Product & Service announcement event held Tuesday in here in Tokyo. - Ravijour True Love Tester Bra

Technology continues to break new ground. Last week in Japan, the latest development in Smart Clothing was unveiled, this time in the area of love - helping women understand their bodies, and helping men understand women's hearts.

There are many strategies employed by men around the world to unlock a woman's heart, which, as many of us know, is a good way to unhook her bra…

But just what is the right formula? What does it take to get the job done, and how do you know when it is all systems go…?

Today, AkihabaraNews joined au by KDDI's 2014 Spring product rollout event that took place in Bellesalle Shibuya-ku Garden in Shibuya, Tokyo.

At 10 A.M., the CEO of au by KDDI, Takashi Tanaka started his presentation by explaining what has and what will differentiate au by KDDI from the other major Japanese carriers during an era when all the 3 major carriers sell iPhones as well as other leading smartphones.

Google unveils Japanese pricing for Nexus 6 on Japanese Google Play 
The release date hasn't been stated clearly. It says soon-to-be-released.