updated 05:55 pm EST, Wed December 15, 2010
iPhone now fifth in all Japanese phone sales
The iPhone is now the fifth best-selling phone brand in the entire Japanese market, IDC Japan found on Wednesday. Owed mostly to the iPhone 4 launch and shipping 1.06 million phones, Apple climbed from seventh place in the first half of the year to 12.2 percent between July and September. It had never been above 10 percent in the past, the study said.
At the new level, it was just behind local phone maker Kyocera, which sat at 12.7 percent. Fujitsu (15.1 percent), Panasonic (16.6 percent) and Sharp (18.8 percent) remained the leaders.
Results may have changed in the fall after Samsung's Galaxy S challenged the iPhone in October, but the summer results will have dampened the hopes of Sony Ericsson, which had a brief run of success with the Xperia X10 before the iPhone undermined its success.
NTT DoCoMo has been mostly frustrated in the past two years by the iPhone's success. Although it remains the largest carrier in Japan, helped by a country that often leans to non-smartphones with many heavily localized features, it has lost influence compared to SoftBank, whose iPhone exclusive has helped it grow. DoCoMo has turned to Darth Vader-themed ads and a rare reliance on foreign companies to try and lure customers over in the absence of its own iPhone deal.
Apple's share has been in part limited by a lack of hardware support for other carriers. The iPhone 4 has hidden NTT DoCoMo support but has never emerged in a deal, and KDDI Au can't get the iPhone until a CDMA model is available.