Printed from http://www.electronista.com

iPhone dominates Japanese smartphone market

updated 01:35 pm EDT, Fri July 3, 2009

iPhone tops in Japan

The iPhone is currently the best-selling smartphone in Japan, at least at retail, according to a recent survey. Gathered by research firm BCN, data from 2,300 stores shows the 8GB iPhone 3G as the most popular smartphone, followed by its 16GB sibling. Ranking third in the survey is the NTT DoCoMo Aquos SH-04A, designed by Sharp; RIM's BlackBerry Bold ranks sixth, and a full four slots in the list are occupied by devices from HTC.

The Japanese iPhone is carried by Softbank, which is said to have adjusted its plans to make the product cheaper in terms of fees and hardware. The iPhone may also be benefiting from a relatively static local market, which has little incentive to develop new features beyond items like better cameras, sharper displays and mobile TV. No word has emerged on the popularity of the iPhone 3GS; conventional cellphones are believed to be rapidly dropping out of favor, however, while smartphone sales have risen 80 percent this year.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. Mimi-mim

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    +4

    Remarkable

    Wow, this quite remarkable. I would have imagined that the iPhone would not do very well in Japan, where they seem favour domestic electronics manufacturers. I wonder how Japanese iPhone sales compares to those in Korea.

  1. cartoonasaur

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009

    +5

    Reality trumps experts

    Reality trumps "experts" most of the time - these experts were all in agreement that because the iPhone didn't offer X Y and Z, it was "DOOMED" to fail.

    Guess not. ;)

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    0

    How is this possible?

    No e-wallet, 1Seg or physical keypad. It was claimed that no honest to goodness Nihonjin would carry a handset without at least two those capabilities. I've constantly heard on the tech forums that the iPhone is c*** and lacking in features compared to any Japanese or Korean handset, so again I'm puzzled about this announcement.

    I honestly think this survey is not telling the whole story simply because there are not that many iPhones being sold in Japan compared to its population and so a lot of people must be just holding onto old cellphones. They say retail stores only, so maybe the Japanese are buying cellphones online or something.

    What is amazing is that the common cellphone is dropping out of favor both here and overseas. Apple is sitting on a goldmine and Nokia is sitting on a landmine. RIM seems to be in the best position of all companies with multiple models of only smartphones and having multiple carriers and willing to build anything they're asked to without any conditions.

  1. iphonerulez

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    -5

    You see this

    Aquos SH-04A feature set. Unreal.
    http://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/product/foma/pro/sh04a/index.html

    Any Engadget reader would die for this sort of handset because it has EVERYTHING. I mean, every piece of hardware you could possibly put in a handset and uta-hodai (unlimited music).
    So, I'm really blown away that the iPhone could possibly trump it. It makes no sense at all.

  1. FreeRange

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    +3

    Japan Apple Stores Packed

    My in-laws are currently in Tokyo and just visited a major Apple retailer and said the Apple section was packed! Apple is rocking Japan - it has always been one of Apple's strongest markets outside the U.S. for Macs, and the iPhone is following...

  1. cartoonasaur

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2009

    +4

    Geeks LOVE features

    Geeks LOVE features - but regular people, regular Japanese, could give a rats patootie about features - they want a FUN & EASY phone that they can figure out in seconds, not minutes....

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    +4

    Aquos SH-04A feature

    Interesting spec but also comparable to iPhone. 5 MB camera is pretty outstanding. The bottom line is how user friendly is their OS comparing to iPhone OS. Is the graphic looks cheesy comparing to iPhone? I mean the website uses 8-bit icon to represent their features. That's not really convincing over how good the phone's OS going to be. iPhone is not only just about features, but the user end experience (the OS itself) is what knocks everyone's socks off.

  1. coffeetime

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Nov 2006

    +5

    about smartphone

    Gee. Smartphone sale rises and I wonder why? Is it Blackberry, Palm, or iPhone influence? Is not that hard to figure out, isn't it? Especially now a $99 iPhone vs. my $180 LG phone from Verizon that has 200x less features than iPhone does.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -5

    timeframe

    So exactly when was this poll/survey taken? Does it cover a year, a quarter, a day? Is it comparative to a previous period, or just against itself?


  1. imfullofit

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009

    +4

    Photos

    I live in Japan and see lots of Iphones in the medium sized town I live in. One thing I have noticed is that people in Japan love photos and the Iphone is great for looking at and showing peoples photos. On numerous occasions I have seen people looking at photos on their iphones in bars and coffee shops and its a 100x better than any other phone. One of my geek friends has a $600 smart phone and was complaining about the features of the Iphone when it first came out. He now has one and I never see him using his other phone even though it has better features. I hear a lot of people complain that they can't hang little charms on the phone because everyone does that here.

    Right now softbank is using a bandwidth that is lower quality and people are still changing over. I have been told that in the next few years they are going to get better bandwidth. I wonder what will happen when their quality goes up? Almost everyone that I talk to says that they usually shop for a new cell phone and cell service every two years when their contract is up. I don't think there is as much brand and carrier loyalty here as in other places.

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