Apple's Mobile Phone Market Share in Japan Rises Above 36% in Q1 2014

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Apple saw its share of the Japanese mobile phone market rise to 36.6% in the first quarter of 2014 amid surging sales on the country's largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, reports Bloomberg. The company shipped 14.43 million phones in Japan in the past fiscal year and saw its market share increase 11.1% from 25.5% in the year-ago quarter.

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Apple's market share in the country was followed by Sharp and Sony, which accounted for 13% and 12.3% of the market, respectively. Rival Samsung owned the sixth-biggest market share with 5.7%.

The debut of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on NTT DoCoMo last Fall marked the first time that Apple's phones were offered on the carrier. Citing the absence of the iPhone, a report last July pointed to a loss of 3.2 million users for NTT DoCoMo over the last four and a half years. DoCoMo's troubles continued in September with a record loss of 66,800 subscribers, which was attributed to a lack of iPhone 5s stock.

Since then however, DoCoMo has enjoyed surging sales of the iPhone, as Apple's device now accounts for more than 40% of phone sales on the network. Last October, the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c also accounted for 76% of smartphone sales in Japan, marking a record high.

All three major Japanese carriers including DoCoMo, SoftBank, and KDDI have been offering the iPhone 5s free on contract through special offers since its launch in September.

Top Rated Comments

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82 months ago
25.5% to 36.6% isn't an 11.1% increase. It's a 43.5% increase or an 11.1 percentage point increase.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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82 months ago
Japanese consumers have taste and class, and aren't suckered by Samsung's gimmicks. If only the rest of the world were as smart as the Japanese!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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82 months ago


Moreover, the Japanese still buy a good number of Samsung smartphones. Nationwide, they're in fourth place behind Sony and Sharp, Japanese companies which each also sell less than Apple.

Samsung's market share is steadily decreasing in Japan, accounting for only 7% of the market as of Q4 2013 (down from 17% in Q4 2012), which is remarkably low considering Samsung's success around the world. LG's numbers are too low to even count.


A big factor for the iPhone success is that it is available for free from the major carriers. The iPhone struggled for acceptance in Japan before that first happened.

I was in Japan when the iPhone came out (and still am now), and the iPhone has never struggled here. There were long lines and sellouts from day one. It has always bee successful in Japan.

There are also many Android phones available for "free" from the major carriers here as well.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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82 months ago

probably because of scumbag korean companies like samsung and hyundai, who made profit by selling sony and toyota knockoffs.


Not really. Japan has showed an elitist attitude to surrounding countries since before the second world war. The hate is really sad to see.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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82 months ago
Japan? That's it? No other country? Maybe they have smaller hands and pockets then the rest of planet earth. Their going to complain big time when iPhone 6 comes out.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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82 months ago
A country were Samsung can't hide the numbers
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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