updated 07:35 am EDT, Tue May 10, 2011
Android hits 57pc in Japan vs iPhone at 38pc
Android successfully pushed past the iPhone for the top smartphone platform in Japan last fiscal year, according to MM Research Institute. Google shot up from just 250,000 phones and 11 percent of the market at the end of March 2010 to 4.91 million phones at the end of March this year, or 57.4 percent. Apple moved 3.23 million iPhones over the same period and was 37.8 percent; BlackBerry and Windows Mobile were virtually non-existent.
Apple was still the largest single smartphone maker by a wide margin. The company's control of its platform kept it at the same 37.8 percent where Sharp's Galapagos phones put it significantly behind at 24.3 percent. As with most countries, it was the collective number of phone makers that made the difference, as Sony Ericsson chipped in at 9.8 percent, and Samsung reached nine percent through the Galaxy S on NTT DoCoMo.
Apple still had yet to challenge the established Japanese phone makers in absolute cellphone share. It had 8.6 percent of the total market and was ahead of Sony Ericsson's 7.4 percent, but even a decline in share still put Sharp out in front with 22.8 percent. Fujitsu and Toshiba uniting put them at a collective 17.3 percent, while Panasonic hit 11.7 percent, NEC Casio reached 10.7 percent, and Kyocera stepped out in front of Apple with 10.4 percent.
Much of the credit was given to NTT DoCoMo, which got much of its attention for both the Samsung and Sony Ericsson phones. Without an iPhone deal of its own, the carrier has leaned heavily on Android and went so far as to use Darth Vader to sell the Galaxy S. Apple is dependent on one carrier, third-place SoftBank, for all of its Japanese sales and has been under pressure to reach out to either NTT DoCoMo or KDDI to get its share.
Total Japan cellphone market share. Top seven, clockwise from upper right: Sharp, Fujitsu/Toshiba, Panasonic, NEC Casio, Kyocera, Apple, Sony Ericsson