Apple Dominated Japan's Smartphone Market in 2020

According to research firm IDC (via GizChina), Apple dominated the smartphone market in Japan over the fourth quarter of 2020, with the iPhone brand accounting for over half of all phone sales in the country.

japan iphone 12
As per the report, the mobile market reached 11.432 million shipments in Q4 2020, and 52.6% of all smartphone sales in Japan were iPhones, substantially contributing to a 10.6% year-on-year growth for the country's mobile market as a whole.

Apple's shipments totaled 6.015 million units in Japan, a 13.8% year-on-year increase in shipments, thanks mostly to the company's release of its 5G-capable iPhone 12 series.

In second place behind Apple came Sharp, with 1.414 million units shipped and a 12.4% market share, while local brand Kyocera was placed third with a 7.0% market share and 801,000 units shipped.

Japan Mobile Phone Market Q4 2020 IDC
Samsung took fourth position with a 6.8% slice of the market, shipping 781,000 units, followed by Sony – traditionally a Japanese brand favorite – which came in fifth with 732,000 shipments and a 6.4% share, with other smaller brands making up the rest of shipments.

Looking at 2020 as a whole, Apple sold the most smartphones in Japan with a 46.5% market share, shipping 15.637 million units that earned it an 8.3% year-on-year growth. Meanwhile, Sharp, Fujitsu, Samsung, and Kyocera took 13.3%, 8.3%, 8.1%, and 7.5% market shares, respectively, with smaller domestic brands accounting for the rest.

Despite a delay in the launch of the ‌iPhone 12‌ series in Japan due to the global health crisis, Apple remained the undisputed champion mobile brand in the country, where iOS regularly accounts for over 60 percent of the operating system market, compared to 50 percent of the market in the United States. Japan also regularly comes out top in terms of countries where ‌iPhone‌ models are least expensive.

Related Roundup: iPhone 12
Tags: IDC, Japan
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

TakeshimaIslands Avatar
19 months ago

Apple nailed it in Japan. They have thoroughly studied that market. It paid off.
Amazing how everything has gone full circle going from Japanese dominance in electronics to Apple ruling in Japan in a short space of time when 10 years ago everyone was using a NEC, Sony, Fujitsu, Kyocera, Sharp , Panasonic etc keitai phone.

I remember when Steve Jobs praised Japanese electronics when he a compared Sony Vaio Tz Laptop to the 'new' macbook air and Xperia phones to the 'new' iphone.
I dont think he could imagine in 2021 that Apple computers, tablets and Phones would have near market dominance in the Japanese market.


Some pointless trivia about the Japanese market. Samsung deliberately remove or minimize visible samsung branding for products sold in Japan to hide its south korean origins https://www.galaxymobile.jp/

This was mainly due to the massive backlash and boycott when samsung management made the insane decision to remove all 'Japanese culture' references starting from touchwiz 6.0 , so they censored, removed or replaced Japanese emojis which was a dumb move because it breaks the standardized legacy unicode specification.

some examples:

? Japanese crossed flags Replaced with South Korean crossed flags ('https://emojipedia.org/samsung/touchwiz-6.0/crossed-flags/')

? Tokyo tower replaced by generic ('https://emojipedia.org/samsung/touchwiz-5.1/tokyo-tower/')

? map of Japan was removed, if someone sent you this emoji it would be a blank box ('https://emojipedia.org/samsung/experience-8.0/map-of-japan/')

? Japanese dolls replaced with korean dolls wearing traditional Hanbok ('https://emojipedia.org/samsung/touchwiz-6.0/japanese-dolls/')

there is more but don't want to wall of text this post..


Samsung reversed this eventually but the animosity remains hence the galaxymobile sans samsung branding for Japanese market stands to this day.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djcerla Avatar
19 months ago
“Apple's iPhone is a hit everywhere in the world — except for Japan.
It turns out that Apple's video-playing, music-downloading, motion-sensing handset is just too, well, backward for the Japanese market.”


Fox News ('https://www.google.it/amp/s/www.foxnews.com/story/apples-iphone-flops-in-japan-now-sold-for-free.amp'), 2015
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
B4U Avatar
19 months ago

Well this is what happens when Sony sells their pro phone for $2500

A steal for what it is capable of doing. But majority of the consumer world have no such need.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iGüey Avatar
19 months ago
I think that most people in the world from every countries would like to have an iPhone, the problem actually is that not everybody has enough money to afford it. The proportion of iPhone vs Android is much bigger in wealthy countries than is in third world countries.

It’s all down to an economic issue, as simple as that.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
19 months ago

“Apple's iPhone is a hit everywhere in the world — except for Japan.
It turns out that Apple's video-playing, music-downloading, motion-sensing handset is just too, well, backward for the Japanese market.”


Fox News ('https://www.google.it/amp/s/www.foxnews.com/story/apples-iphone-flops-in-japan-now-sold-for-free.amp'), 2015
Wait, are you trying to imply 6 year old information related to 6 year old market conditions might somehow be relevant to Japanese consumer habits 6 years later? Cuz if so, I mean... heh, okay I guess.

"We're number 1 in the world... THE WORLD!!11!! - Nokia, 2005.
Am I doin' that right? :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RelMiqu Avatar
19 months ago

Sharp (#3 in Japan) and Kyocera (4# in JP) phones ? I have never heard of theses brands for smartphones in EU market

Wtf
That's cause they don't release their phones outside of Asia.
They focus on other electronics and IT services for the west.
I think iv only seen 1 sharp phone ever here in Norway
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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