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Apple's iPhone takes all 10 slots for Japan's Top 10 smartphones

updated 09:57 am EST, Tue November 12, 2013

BCN rankings put Apple on top of Japanese smarpthone sales

Apple's newest iPhones aren't just popular in Japan, they account for each of the top 10 selling smartphone slots in that country. This according to BCN Rankings, which charts the top selling devices in Japan from week to week. The week ending November 4 marked the first time in history that one smartphone brand had taken all of the spots in BCN's top 10.

The top selling device in Japan - the world's fourth-largest smartphone market - was the 32GB iPhone 5s sold through the country's largest wireless carrier, NTT DoCoMo. Despite 60 million subscribers - roughly half the population of Japan - DoCoMo did not get the iPhone until this year. The carrier unsuccessfully tried to pressure Apple into allowing it to preinstall some lifestyle software on DoCoMo iPhone units, but Apple never relented.

DoCoMo's only other entry in the top 10 devices is the 16GB iPhone 5s version, which appears at No. 9. The other entries are taken up by iPhones appearing on SoftBank and KDDI-owned au. Notably, the second-best selling unit in the country was the 16GB iPhone 5c on SoftBank. The polycarbonate-backed iPhone 5c appears only twice in the top 10.

More so than most other countries, Japan has latched on to Apple's products. The country has become Apple's most profitable area of operation, with the Cupertino company pulling in 50 percent profit margins on many products, as opposed to 35 percent for much of the rest of the world. Apple's iPhones and iPads have seen considerable success in Japan, with the iPhone holding a 37 percent market share for the six months ending Sept. 30. The iPad, meanwhile, is close to 50 percent of Japan's tablet market.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 11-28-08

    I remember a few years back when the critics claimed that no Japanese would ever want to use the iPhone because the featurephones in Japan were light years ahead of anything Apple could come up with. All those featurephones were chock-full of carrier tiers of crap. Times sure have changed. The gaijin iPhone has become fully accepted by the Japanese like Hello Kitty and Godzilla. Those freaking narrow-minded idiots of years back must be feeling pretty stupid now that the iPhone is the number one smartphone in Japan. I'm glad DoCoMo had to bend over to Apple. Nobody wanted DoCoMo's lifestyle carrier crap on their iPhones, anyway. iPhone purchasers can just head over to the App store and get anything their little hearts desire in the way of software.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    The App Store didn't exist back when people were claiming that, and it didn't support emoji.

  1. reader50


    Joined: 06-01-00

    I recall when the computer sales companies counted each iMac color as a separate "model", so as to keep Macs out of the top-5 / top-10 sales lists.

    They shouldn't list separately by RAM size or carrier, just by model. I see only two models (5s and 5c) in their list, which they've parleyed into all 10 slots. So we have no idea if the iPhone 5 or 4s are still hanging on, and no idea what the next runner-up products are.

    Stats tricks were not fair to Apple back when, and are not fair for anyone else today. Market statistics should be honest all the time.

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Why? This breakdown is actually slightly more informative than lumping them together: It shows us that each individual size of the iPhone, as sold per individual carrier, ON ITS OWN is outselling every other device on the market.

    Since those are broken down by carrier as well, it's not really unfair to any competitor.

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