IPhone Market Share In Japan Now Larger Than In USA, Set To Keep Growing

Apple’s iPhone market share has now hit 37% in Japan. That’s now greater than the 36% share it currently holds in the USA, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Sales got another boost in late September when NTT DoCoMo Inc., Japan’s largest wireless carrier, began offering the iPhone for the first time to its 61.8 million customers. Even before that, the iPhone was Japan’s best-selling smartphone, with a 37% market share in the six months ended Sept. 30, according to Tokyo’s MM Research Institute. That’s comparable to the iPhone’s 36% share in the U.S. in the third quarter, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

As described in the report, Apple just signed a deal with Japan’s largest wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo to offer the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in the country. However, the vast majority of the market share was gained before the DoCoMo began offering the iPhone meaning that further growth is not altogether unlikely.

Timothy Arcuri, a managing director at Cowen & Co., estimates that Apple will sell 11 to 12 million iPhones in Japan in 2013, roughly double from an estimated five to six million in 2012. He expects that number to grow to about 20 million iPhones next year […]

“They’re going to be close to 50% market share next year.”

Apple is said to represent prestige in Japan, often being ranked alongside the likes of Louis Vuitton and Burberry in terms of its brand positioning. Analyst Eiji Mori told the WSJ that “[the choice is] not about specifications. It’s not about rationale. It’s about owning an iPhone.”

Further adding to Apple’s growth is a clear bias against one of Apple’s fiercest competitors in the smartphone space: Samsung. The historically rocky relationship between Japan and South Korea has led consumers to avoid Korean products and has stopped Samsung gaining any traction in the Japanese market.

Japan is the fourth largest smartphone market in the world, behind the China, the USA and India. This means there a considerable amount of money to be made in the Land of the Rising Sun for the Cupertino tech giant.

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