Apple Japan's top phone maker in 2012, says research firm

Research firm Counterpoint says Apple edged past domestic makers Sharp and Fujitsu last year, leading a foreign influx

Apple sold more phones in Japan than any other manufacturer last year, rising above local manufacturers for the first time, according to a research firm.

The report from Counterpoint Research, based in Hong Kong, said Apple had a 15 percent market share in the country for the full year, just above the 14 percent market share held by both Sharp and Fujitsu. The report also said that foreign manufacturers accounted for half of the market during the fourth quarter.

Japan's mobile market has long taken an independent path from the rest of the world, employing its own network technologies and quickly embracing technologies like mobile cameras, NFC touch-card payments, and mobile TV broadcasts. The country's cellular market has been called a "Galapagos" environment because it evolved separately from the rest of the world, and companies like Sharp have embraced the concept and used it in their branding.

"Japan was once considered to be like a Galapagos Island, an isolated terrain, in terms of mobile technology," Counterpoint said. "The wave of smartphones has changed the situation now and it looks like the Japanese market is a market that can be transformed after all for better or worse."

The analysis jives with other recent data that show foreign manufacturers, led by Apple, are making inroads in Japan as smartphones proliferate. IDC said in December that Apple accounted for a quarter of all smartphone shipments during the third quarter of 2012, beating out Fujitsu.

Samsung has had less success in Japan than Apple. This is in part because Apple was an established brand before the smartphone boom, and also due to heavy marketing and low pricing on iPhone contracts from local carriers.

Domestic carrier Softbank has pushed the iPhone aggressively since it launched the original in 2008, and rival carrier KDDI began selling it in 2011. NTT DoCoMo, the country's largest carrier, has hinted it may negotiate to sell the phone at some point, as it has lost subscribers despite offering Samsung's flagship Galaxy and Note models in its lineup.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Applemobile

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?