iPhones give Apple the biggest bite of the Japanese market

Madeleine Swain
28 November, 2013
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The received wisdom about Apple’s position in world markets has for a long time focused on the idea that Apple is all about profit margins and leaves market share to Samsung, which is free to flood the market with its multiple less expensive devices.

That may be the case in many countries, but not so in Japan, according to reports from various sources, but apparently originating with Kantar World Panel. Wikipedia describes Kantar as “an international company dealing in consumer knowledge and insights based on continuous consumer panels”.

Earlier this month Kantar noted that the Windows Phone is rallying in Europe, overtaking iOS devices in Italy and currently making up one in 10 smartphone sales across five major European markets – namely, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

But clearly showing it’s not prone to bias, this week Kantar reported via Twitter that in Japan iPhones (both the 5s and 5c models) accounted for a stunning 76 percent of overall smartphone sales during the month of October.

Kantar also noted the iPhones took a 61 percent share of NTT DoCoMo sales. NTT DoCoMo is Japan’s largest carrier, with 60 million subscribers, and it only began carrying iPhones this spring, “after years of losing subscribers while backing alternative devices from Samsung,” says AppleInsider.

This level of success counters long-standing claims that Japanese consumers had little interest in iPhones and makes even more of a mockery of now discredited stories by Wired magazine and The Wall Street Journal, which talked of slow sales and Apple’s failure in Japan.


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