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,
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.