It seems the iPhone has hit an all-time high market share in Japan: representing a massive 36.6% of all Japanese smartphones in the first quarter of 2014, reports Bloomberg.
This increase, which is up from last year’s 25.5%, was driven by Apple’s deal with Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo. Apple launched the iPhone 5s and 5c with NTT DoCoMo back in September, and sales have been rocketing upwards ever since. Sales have proven so good, in fact, that Apple recently moved Doug Beck, chief of sales for Japan and Korea, over to handle the North American beat — where it is hoped he can apply some of the same sales mantra to the increasing U.S. market share.
Over the past fiscal year, Apple has shipped a total of 14.43 million iPhones to Japan. Not bad for a country that some once speculated hated the iPhone so much it could barely be given away for free.
This full-year figure underestimates the current position, as it reflects only six months of sales through DoCoMo.
Apple’s market share in Japan hit almost 70 percent when the iPhone 5S and 5C were made available on DoCoMo, as pent-up demand was first unleashed. Since then it settled back to just under 50 percent last quarter, and we’re likely to see a similar number in the full-year figures in six months time.
MM Research Institute (the company responsible for the stats quoted above) notes that for the same period, Sharp held a 13% share of the market, while Sony claimed 12.3%. Samsung, which is Apple’s arch nemesis in countries like China and Korea, presently holds a pathetic 5.7% of the Japanese smartphone market.