updated 09:50 am EDT, Mon August 17, 2009
iPhone 3GS Tops in Japan
Apple's third iPhone generation has ousted Japan's own phone manufacturers for the top sales spot in the country, according to market data from Gfk Japan. The 32GB iPhone 3GS was the most popular phone in Japan during July and outsold even more advanced touchscreen phones from the local market, such as the runner-up Sharp SH-06. Of the top ten, the 16GB iPhone 3GS was the only other non-Japanese phone to make the list, occupying ninth place ahead of the Sharp SH001 camera phone.
The spike isn't fully explained, though the Japanese iPhone 3GS launch occurred roughly a week after the first wave and may have used a significant amount of July to satiate at least initial demand. What's attracting users to the phone is just as unknown but likely involves features that bring its hardware up to par, like video capture and voice control.
Making the top of the chart is a potential watershed for American phones in the country as a whole. While the iPhone 3G also saw strong sales in the country when it launched over a year ago on SoftBank and hurt rival carriers like KDDI and NTT DoCoMo, it struggled to unseat locally-made handsets. The Japanese market is known to be too insular and often excludes foreign phones in favor of domestics that are complicated but support many Japan-specific features like 1Seg digital TV broadcasts or FeliCa wireless payments.