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iPhone 3GS bestselling phone in Japan

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. tiborg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    16GB harder to get

    Interesting, the 16GB was on a two week waiting list when I put in my order. 32GB white seemed to be available at most stores, but I suppose the specific models were not initially ordered in the same amounts.

  1. tiborg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Special pricing ending

    The spike might be because of the current sale on the phone ends at the end of September and the additional offer of up to 10,000 yen in gift certificates ends this month, so people like me decided to make the switch now while the getting is good.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: 16GB harder to get

    Or Apple is distributing less of those, in hopes of upselling people who really want an iphone.

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