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iPhone up to fifth place in whole Japanese phone market

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. patrix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Docomo hasn't turned to Vader as their only hope..

    Sorry to say, but all providers here are turning to Android for smartphones, because they can have a smartphone AND the localized Japanese features - which they can't have on the iPhone (not until Apple puts them on the iPhone, and will they, if those features work only in one country, and some in South Korea too?)

    Sharp has been having huge success with the launch of their recent smartphones (the IS03 on AU, which now many people are complaining about because of its horrible battery life - duh, who puts 1020mAh batteries on smartphones???; the Lynx 3D on Docomo; the Galapagos line coming up on Softbank; etc), with orders backed up until January. I myself had pre-ordered an IS03 but went for a Lynx 3D when it came out cuz it was available and no need to wait another month or two. Glad I did, for the better battery and bigger screen.

    Good, healthy competition. Just what the market needs :)

    AS for the X10, it undermined its own success, the iPhone just accelerated it. It was great when it was announced in 2009, disappointing when it was delayed, and disgusting when it was released with an old Android OS and lacking features that are considered standard on Android in 2010, and then followed with slow updates from Sony Ericsson as well as no updates past Android 2.1. FAIL, Sony Ericsson, FAIL.

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