|Apple's iPhones are popular in many of the world's largest market, but Japan in particular has taken a liking to the Cupertino company's offerings. A new piece in The Wall Street Journal explored the impact that the iPhone is having in the world's fourth-largest smartphone market, finding that recent carrier deals have only helped to boost Apple's standing in the country. The world's bestselling smartphone is also having something of a halo effect, with the iPad also increasing in popularity in Japan.
"Apple's brand is just overwhelming here," Eiji Mori, a Tokyo-based analyst, told the Journal. "It's not about specifications. It's not about rationale. It's about owning an iPhone."
Prior to the six months ended Sept. 30, the iPhone held a 37 percent market share in Japan. That is slightly ahead of some measures of its popularity in Apple's home country, the United States. Observers note that the addition of NTT DoCoMo to the list of iPhone carriers will likely serve only to boost Apple's market share.
"They're going to be close to 50 percent market share next year [in Japan]," said one analyst.
Apple's sales in Japan grew 27 percent to $13.5 billion for the fiscal year ending in September. The country is also Apple's most profitable, with iPhones and iPads pulling in 50 percent profit margins, compared with 35 percent for the rest of the world.
The iPad, too, is surging, according to recent studies. For the fiscal year ending March 2013, MM Research says that the iPad accounted for 50 percent of Japan's tablet market.