updated 11:00 am EST, Fri February 24, 2006
iPod mania in Japan
iPod mania is alive and well in Japan--one of the most competitive consumer-electronics markets on the planet--thanks in part to a slick marketing campaign, according to a new report. The company continues to outsell other competitors by a wide margin--including Sony on its own home turf, according to BusinessWeek: "Despite an array of well-entrenched Japanese rivals, such as Sony and Matsushita, the iPod had cornered 51.3% of the digital-music player market as of the end of 2005, up from about 32% in 2004, according to research firm BCN. Sony was a distant second with 16.2%, while Panasonic grabbed just 8.2% of the market." The success has been in part due to Apple's marketing campaign, which was selected by the Nikkei Marketing Journal as the best of 2005; however, the mobile phone threat looms: "A bigger threat is the growing sophistication of mobile phone-based music in Japan. Cell phones are frequently discussed as potential iPod killers, and Japan's carriers are pushing the hardest to make that a reality."