iPhone Captures 46% of Japanese Smartphone Market


MobileCrunch brings word that, according to Impress R&D [Japanese language]:

[The iPhone 3G is] commanding 24.6% [of the domestic smartphone market], while the [iPhone 3GS] contributes another 21.5%. The 3G was introduced in Japan in summer 2008 (the 3GS followed earlier this year). Sources in Japan say that the iPhone user base in Japan now stands at 3 million, which is an impressive 10% of the global userbase.

They credit carrier SoftBank's aggressive TV and print advertising, and the lack of similar pushes for BlackBerry and Android, as key factors in the iPhone's success. (Android comes in at #10 with 2.3% and the BlackBerry Bold at #11 with 1.2%)

This follows similar enthusiasm in Korea, and a tepid response from China -- at least for the official, non-gray market models...

UPDATE: Engadget Mobile points out the smartphone market as a whole is really teeny tiny in Japan,

[Impress R&D via MobileCrunch via MacRumors]

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone Captures 46% of Japanese Smartphone Market


Lol. Black market iPhone 3G and 3GS imported into china are selling like hotdog actually. There are iPhone sold at every single phone store. Yes it's not as popular as nokia device. But it's good enough for a market like china where it's difficult to get a mac product from a authorized retailer.

This actually doesn't surprise me! I've got an iPhone myself and I can't imaging life without it! It does everything I need and i've got the same feedback from everyone I know who has an iPhone.

Trust the "Ponjins"?? Are you nuts? You are a foreingner to them and they hate outsiders!! Part of that 3 million is the US MILITARY!! iPhone prices in jap land are ridiculous. There's over 120 million people there and everyone and their grandmothers has a cell phone. Is 3 million that much? The natives like Flip-style phones. BTW. There's no free wifi anywhere here!! Come here for a visit and see how restricted this market (culture) is!! Just try to get a prepaid sim to use in your iPhone!! Ain't gonna happen. And while I'm at it the word is TIDLE WAVE!! Why give the land of riding racist any credit for coining a phrase. It's a local word and should stay local.

Well 46% of the SMART PHONE market. There aren't many smart phones in thi market anyway.

iphone is a killer in Japan. Son San was brilliant smooching Steve Jobs to bring this to Tokyo first. NTT had their chance and missed the boat, NTT CEO should stand down over that blunder! Son has this vast block of iphone subscribers on min 2 yr contracts spending money on data downloads. Im trying to figure out how to buy Softbank (9984) shares outside of Japan. In a market depresion this company is stomping over the oppsition. Need to get into that action for when we do recover from financialo crisis, shares should be double.

So if it's 46% of 22% then the iPhone has about a little over 10% market share. That's not all that bad considering the Japs are very loyal to there own brands.

Some of y'all need to learn that China is not in Japan. Just saying.
Also the fact that its captured the niche part of the Japanese culture...it's not that surprising. Apple is known for that.
Since the smartphone market is a failure in Japan...and iPhone is at the top. It's basically a successful failure.
iPhone finally takes the lead in a smartphone market in the world...and when it does...it's in a land where nobody really cares about smartphones, lol. The irony.

When I went to visit my wife's family, I took my iPhone thinking I could get a prepaid SIM for my stay. My wife could get me one without 3g access so I gave up. I wasn't prepared to pay my carrier's ridiculous roaming costs either.
Anyway, my wife's mother thought the iPhone was pretty impressive and most of my wife's friends love it. It seemed that none of them really like Softbank very much though (even with the weird Brad Pitt ads).
I think Japan's smart phone market is relatively small because they have a market of smart-enough phones, but the iPhone does have the magnetism to pull people into the market.
@Joseph - You are a loon.
@IPhone4idiots - Thr Japanese electronics market has things we wouldn't even want
to imagine. When something catches on there, it catches on for a reason