Japans Best Selling Phone - iPhone 3GS

According to market research company Gfk and their recent survey, it seems like Japan has fallen in love with the iPhone 3GS. So much so that in the month of July, the good people there have made Apple's 32GB iPhone 3GS the most popular cell phone in all of Japan.

Here is how the rest of the top 10 shakes out.

  • Apple iPhone 3GS 32 GB
  • Sharp SH-06A
  • Panasonic 830P
  • Sharp SH-05A
  • NEC N-08A
  • Sony Ericsson Walkman Phone Premier3
  • Sharp SH-02A
  • Casio W63CA
  • Apple iPhone 3GS 16 GB
  • Sharp SH001

It must be those Emoji icons...

[Via MobileCrunch]

IM Staff

Your source for all things Apple

  • The japanese know what's good in electronics.
  • Judging from the list, it has to be Emoji icons. Just softbank feature phones listed with powerful looking cameras.
  • I can understand why, considering most of their cell phones look like they're from 6 years ago and their UI and software are horrendous. Even without 1Seg the iPhone is probably a huge upgrade for Japan.
  • I thought the iPhone wasn't up to their standards without a front facing camera and video confrence.
  • @Ben
    iPhone a huge upgrade for japan? Care to explain how a country that is miles ahead of us in terms of technology needs an upgrade from us?
  • @the real truth
    The upgrade is in the UI. All the fancy tech in the world is irrelevant if the common person can't figure out how to use it.
  • @6
    you are completely and utterly correct.
  • NDPTAL85 said:
    "The upgrade is in the UI. All the fancy tech in the world is irrelevant if the common person can’t figure out how to use it."
    They should call you THE REAL TRUTH! Truer words have never been spoken on this blog!
  • Its the "hip" American fad. Japans dumbphones have been doing what blackberries and iphones are just now doing for years.
  • Sorry - not buying it. The prior iPhones tanked in Japan because they pale in comparison to what the Japanese have in place (for both handsets and supporting networks). They laughed that the iPhone had no video or true MMS, particularly given the pricetag.
    The 3GS is little more than marketing and a mildly faster processor - at the cost of heat and battery life.
    Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone, but I see no reason why the GS would suddenly make a given market fall in love with it - particularly given it's history of loathing of prior models.
  • @don v
    preach brother preach you r speaking the truth
  • Don V is a moron
  • sorry, but softbank cant give the iphones away...they are trying (8gb 3g + free 16gb +$4 a month) (32gb 3gs is $10 a moh), but the japanese just dont like it compared to the functions they get with a typical cell phone here. ketai saifu and mobile game sites for example.
    i love my 3g, but i just dont see many japanese folks with iphones. what i do see are a lot of roundeyes in this country sporting iphones because they are much easier to use if you dont fluently read all 3 japanese alphabets...
    the way i see it, someone is padding this survey heavily.
  • I'm in Japan right now and you can get the iPhone for 0Yen. But don't know about the data plans and so on...
  • the iphone 3gs is so cheap in japan compared to here in the UK, which is a reason i will not be buying the 3GS
  • Why are so many people that have no idea about Japan trying to speak authoritatively about Japan? Ah, it's the internet.
    iPhone in Japan is struggling not just because it is technologically well behind most Japanese phones on the market (even though it is). One major criticism of the iPhone is in fact the UI and lack of features - in particular the e-mail interface, no TV, difficulties with pushmail, lack of support for Japanese mobile services (a MAJOR issue in Japan) and a multitude of other problems.
    The reason it topped the "sales" last month is that SBM is basically giving it away for free. Don't be fooled. iPhone is in for a big struggle in Japan.
  • I'm actually in Japan with the new 3GS (32gb even!). As far as who has the iPhone, without a doubt more Americans than Japanese. For me, I was living in a place that didn't have the iPhone before (bad coverage and out of the 3G network anyway). How did I come to buy it? It was a steal as far as how much it costs. They charge me about $30 a month, but then Give me a discount of $20 (only on your first iPhone). Paying for it monthly for 2 years gives it to me for roughly $250..... WAY cheaper than anywhere else! And the other versions of the iPhone only get cheaper as you go down on the list. My hubby has the 3G with 16gb and he's only paying something like $3 or $4 a month.
    There isn't a insurance plan for the phones available, so if you loose or break your phone you will owe softbank still for the phone you don't have, and then you still need to get another phone anyway, and if you choose the iPhone again, there is NO discount this time! I wonder if the work around on that might be what apple might offer in the way of apple care for it. I should look into that.
    For me, I'm a mac. It goes without saying why I have it, and I couldn't be happier!!! (oh, and even though some say it's upgrade in processing speed is minor, it's NOTICEABLY faster than my hubby's).
    The only thing I don't understand with Softbank is the voicemail thing. On the apple site it talks about downloading your voicemail and being able to listen to the message and pick the message you hear. When I touch the voicemail icon, all it does is call the voicemail server. (which BTW is NOT a free call). I don't think that is a supported feature yet.
    Still super-uber happy with it! (Now to find out if ATT will allow me to use this phone in the states if and when we move back...)
  • Dear morons who know NOTHING about Japan. Japanese phones are nit miles ahead of the iphone. Having a 20MP camera that still takes terrible pictures does not make JApanse phones 'advanced'. The iphone is WELL beyond the other phones on that list in media capabilities. Ipod/movies and games are all COMPLETELY TROUNCED by the iphone. Seriously. The other phones in the list are nice if you want a very basic handset with an okay camera. That's it.
    The main reason people don't change to iphones is that they are worried they won't be able to use them. Because they are morons. At first, changing from a handset that has basically been the same for 10 years might be a challenge, but the iphone ui is much, much MUCH better.
    I've had several 'top of the range' camshell handsets here. They all sucked. Terrible seg-1 tv (I mean really really terrible), terrible music/video players, and pretty much the same as the last 4 or 5 phones I had in the UK. The only real difference was a slightly better camera.
  • @Akira, are you mental? In what possible way can you claim that the top japanese phones are technological more advanced than the iphone? Are you just looking at a spec sheet, which tells you nothing. My laptop has a faster processor than a ps3. Is it a faster machine? Hell no. Japanese phones tend to have the same design limitaions of 5 years ago; small screens, no touchscreen, terrible OS, poor media functions and certainly nothing approching the appstore.
    The 'internet' phones are a complete embarrassment. A point I forgot to mention is how much better web browsing is on the iphone than other phones. The only phone that is technologically advanced compared to the iphone is the willcom d4, which is basically a netbook with a built in cell receiver, and about 1 hr battery life. Crap.
    There are many information services available on Japanese phones that don't work with the iphone, which does decrease its popularity. But that is nothing to do with the hardware. And those information services are nothing special. Oh, and people berate the fact that it doesn't have a completely redundant infra red port, for the inefficient number transfer method so popular here. Again, this is one of the area that the iphone is much more advanced, not less.
  • To be honest, the main reason that the iphone isn't popular is that most people dont care about having a phone with great media capabilities. They just want a phone that does the basics well. That is what the japanese phones do. They make calls, send email, take pictures. Japanese phones work flawlessly with japanese services, such as train times etc. If anything, it is because the iphone is too technologically advanced. PEople dont really care how powerful the gpu is. Most people are happy at watching seg-1 on a tiny screen rather than have gigs of proper tv shows/movies on an iphone. They dont care that the appstore offers 10,000s of apps. They just want to make calls, send email, and take pictures.
    I remember that before I bought my iphone, I searched for alternatives for about 2 months. I tried out all the top of the line Japanese phones. The features were pathetic. There basically weren't any. Calls, email, camera. Terrible music player, small screen for watching bad tv, ridiculously over priced games that wouldnt even go for free on the appstore, and high megal pixel camera that took okay pictures. WOW.
  • The iPhone may be selling well, but reports suggest that Motorola's 'Milestone' is the fastest selling gadget currently. http://www.themusicvoid.com/2009/12/motorola80%99s-milestone-the-u-k...
  • Arrogant Americans much? Face it, Japan is more advanced, has a better quality of life, and the average person is brighter and smarter than the average American. No hard feelings intended, just the truth.