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.
Notorious vegetarian Steve Jobs had few weakness. Black turtlenecks were one. The other was an extreme love of sushi.
Some of the West Coast’s best sushi places dotted Steve’s backyard, but Kaygetsu, a small sushi spot in Menlo Park, held the key to Steve’s heart stomach so tightly that Silicon Valley’s most impatient CEO could be spotted waiting up to 30 minutes like a normal pauper just to get his tongue on some hamachi.
Jobs loved the place so much he had a surprise birthday party for his wife there and even crammed Apple’s board of directors into the tiny restaurant for board meetings.
When Apple starts sniffing around, looking to buy a company, it’s time to pay attention. That goes double if they make chips. Back in 2008, Apple purchased P.A. Semi, a low-powered chipmaker, whose acquisition soon paved the way for an entire series of revolutionary ARM based chips. And recently, Apple purchased a low-energy chip maker who could help power the iWatch.
Now Apple’s out to do it again, this time with Renesas SP, if reports can be believed. But what for?
Three out of every four smartphones sold in Japan are reportedly iPhones, but how did the Apple devices get there to start with?
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son shed some light on that question during a television interview with Charlie Rose which aired earlier this week, in which he told the story of how he landed the iPhone back in 2008.
Forget Black Friday or Cyber Monday, New Year in Japan is the time of choice for retailers and shoppers alike — since this means Fukubukuro.
Literally translating as “lucky bag”, fukubukuro gives stores a chance to make room for incoming stock and drum up some publicity by selling off inventory at a massively discounted rate. The catch? That customers hand over their money for a grab bag they have no idea of the contents of.
In Japan and other Asian countries, an annual tradition that many retailers participate in during the holidays is called “Fukubukuro,” commonly referred to as “lucky” or “mystery” bags.
The concept is simple: you put together bags of heavily discounted products at random and sell them to customers who don’t know exactly what they’re getting. It may sound weird to westerners, but if you really think about it, an overweight old man in a bright robe coming down your chimney at night is a lot weirder.
Anyway, Apple Japan is participating in the tradition again this year, and it has confirmed the special sale’s kickoff date of January 2nd. Lucky Bags will cost 36,000 yen, or around $345. Bags usually contain items like iPods, random accessories and t-shirts, but customers have received more expensive hardware like iPads and even MacBooks in years past.
Supplies are limited, so Apple stores in Japan will definitely have lines of eager customers after New Years.
According to research consultants Counterpoint Research, Apple captured 34% of the 2.8 million Japanese mobile phone sales this September, marking a sizable increase from the estimated 14% seen in both July and August.
The news is even more impressive when, as Counterpoint director Tom Kang notes, “This is the first time any handset brand has crossed the 30% mark in the last decade in one of the most modern digital handset market in the world, Japan.”
We’re still waiting for Tim Cook and Peter Oppenheimer to start today’s earnings call, but now that the closing bell has rung Apple just released its official financial results for Q4 2013. So far the numbers look pretty good with Apple beating analyst estimations for revenue and profit with $37.5 billion and $7.5 billion respectively.
Sorting through the pile of information and numbers Apple just gave us can make your head spin, so we’ve broken it down for you. Here are the most important numbers you need to know from today’s earnings:
Apple fans are dedicated. Every single year, they brave the elements for sometimes weeks at a time, camping out in front of Apple Stores so that they can be first getting their hands on Cupertino’s latest iDevice.
Even by the standards of most Apple launches, though, the guys hanging out in front of Tokyo’s Ginza Apple Store are dedicated. They are braving a frickin’ typhoon to be first in line for the iPhone 5s.