iPhone is wiping the floor with Samsung in Japanese smartphone race

1318595158-the-iphone-4s-goes-on-sale-in-japan_872697

The iPhone has hit a new all-time high when it comes to market share in Japan: representing a massive 36.6% of all Japanese smartphones in the first quarter of 2014.

This increase, which is up from last year’s 25.5%, was driven by Apple’s deal with NTT DoCoMo, a.k.a. Japan’s largest carrier. Apple launched the iPhone 5s and 5c with NTT DoCoMo back in September, and sales have been rocketing upwards ever since. Sales have proven so good, in fact, that Apple recently moved Doug Beck, chief of sales for Japan and Korea, over to handle the North American beat — where it is hoped he can apply some of the same sales mojo to increasing U.S. market share.

Over the past fiscal year, Apple has shipped a total of 14.43 million iPhones to Japan. Not bad for a country that some once speculated hated the iPhone so much it could barely be given away for free.

MM Research Institute (the company responsible for the stats quoted above) notes that for the same period, Sharp held a 13% share of the market, while Sony claimed 12.3%. Samsung, which is Apple’s arch nemesis in countries like China and Korea, presently holds a pathetic 5.7% of the Japanese smartphone market.

  • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

    Japan has never gotten along well with South Korea so I would think this is somewhat expected. Apple is simply beating Samsung in Japan’s smartphone market by default.

    Doug Beck isn’t going to be able to do anything to increase iPhone sales in the U.S. because consumers here are basically interested in getting the most bang for the buck and certainly have no inborn dislike of South Koreans or S. K. products. Americans have absolutely no loyalty to buy from American companies. I doubt the U.S. government even has a policy pushing American consumers to buy American. The only thing that will increase iPhone sales in the U.S. would be for Apple to lower its iPhone pricing. And then there’s the carriers who have mountains of Android smartphone inventory they need to move and companies like Samsung are willing to give cash incentives to salespeople to sell their smartphones. For every Galaxy S5 being sold Samsung is offering plenty of software and content to buyers. Apple offers nothing like that to match Samsung.

    • rattyuk

      “For every Galaxy S5 being sold Samsung is offering plenty of software and content to buyers. Apple offers nothing like that to match Samsung.”

      You can spin it that way.

      I think the fact that they are promoting the S5 as “Only having 40 bloatware apps preinstalled” says a lot more about this than the way you put it.

  • moofer

    No Korean products do well in Japan.,

  • TJ

    “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”

    Samsung scorched the Japanese earth with the same tactics they are trying now on Apple. Sony, Panasonic, Sharp, etc. They all got copied, undercut, and starved through litigation. Samsung is an independent nation residing inside S. Korea eating it from the inside out. They don’t care about electronics, washing machines, ships, financial services, rubber hose, toilet bowls, or anything else they “design.” They just do what it takes to “win” and “beat” the others. Corruption, cheating, stealing, killing, whatever… Japan will never forget that and maybe the US has to learn the hard way. Just like all those clueless short sighted people who shop at Walmart buying Chinese-made products from minimum wage “customer service specialists” who used to make a decent living making high quality versions of those products inside their own country.

    • Kr00

      100% correct. The Japanese electronics industry know all too well the copy and undercut policy of Samescum. Until the rest of the world discovers this, they will continue to get away with their corrupt and immoral ways. You only need read this Vanity Fair article to understand what makes that immoral company tick. Not pretty. People need to wake up, otherwise no business is safe of being destroyed by this evil mafia like family.

      http://www.vanityfair.com/business/2014/06/apple-samsung-smartphone-patent-war.print

    • http://naofumi.castle104.com/ Naofumi

      To some extent, that’s how Japan came to the US market 40-50 years ago. I remember well how US workers publicly destroyed Japanese cars with hammers in protest of how we “copied”, “cheated” our way into the US market, and stole jobs away from US workers. That was in the 1980s.

      Just as this sentiment was not necessarily representative of all Americans, not all Japanese are anti-Korean. And in the other direction, many Koreans hate Japan as well for how we treated them since at least the beginning of the 20th century.

      We still do have pretty good electronics and washing machines though.

    • NaegaJeilJalNaga

      Did you learn anything in History class?
      It was the Japanese who scorched Korean soil… and tortured to death Korean POWs, and raped Korean women, and enslaved Korean children, and suppressed Korean language and culture, and…

  • Sebastian Bartlett

    The only korean products that have ever done well in japan are some of the kpop groups. Also let’s take Korea and China and a lot more markets and c how low apples market is.

    • mahadragon

      Thank you Sebatian. I was in Japan in January and gawd those people love their K-Pop. Go to Kabukicho (north section) close to Shin-Okubo all you see are K-Pop joints lining the streets pumping out Korean pop music all night long. The Japanese don’t hate anyone, they are the most polite people in the world. Go inside 7-11, they’ll bow to you for buying a bottle of water.

      Regarding the article I’d agree. Every time I rode the subway in Tokyo or Osaka all I saw were iPhones. Yea, there was an occasional Samsung phone or Note but the majority were iPhones. Not that my observation was scientific or anything, but it gives an idea.

      There must be a pretty robust app ecosystem in Japan. I know it’s lacking a bit in China as Apple was trying to get more Chinese developers to contribute. People don’t take the apps into consideration because it’s a reason to buy into the ecosystem.

  • Michel Schauenberg

    Sharp has 13%, I think that says it all :-)

  • NaegaJeilJalNaga

    Oh well… Japanese have a seething hatred for anyone and anything Korean.
    Jewish products probably did not sell well in the Third Reich either.
    Racism and nationalism are never a cause for celebration — iSheep or not.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

(sorry, you need Javascript to see this e-mail address)| Read more posts by .

Posted in News, Top stories | Tagged: , , |