It looks like Apple’s iPhone deal with Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, really has helped Cupertino’s share of the country’s smartphone market boom. Because according to a recent report, during the first quarter of 2014 Apple’s share of the Japanese smartphone market hit an all-time high of 36.6 percent.
We explained back in April that strong sales in Japan had helped Apple regain market share in the country, however in a recent report from Bloomberg the exact increase of Apple’s share has been outlined. Cupertino indeed holds a 36.6 percent share of the Japanese market, and this increased from last year’s share of 25.5 percent, according to MM Research Institute (a Tokyo-based research firm).
Over the past fiscal year, Apple shipped a huge 14.43 million iPhone handsets in Japan, the report adds.
MM Research Institute notes that for the same period, Sharp Corp. held a 13 percent share of the market and Sony grabbed a 12.3 percent share. Samsung, Apple’s main rival in countries including China and Korea, presently holds a mere 5.7 percent share of Japan’s smartphone market, however.
Apple indeed launched its iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c with NTT DoCoMo back in September, and since then sales of both the iPhone and iPad have rocketed in the country. Earlier this month, Cupertino also launched iTunes Match in Japan, and iOS device users in the country can now access the service for a subscription of ¥3,980 per year.
We also heard recently that Apple was planning on moving Doug Beck, chief of sales for Japan and Korea, over to North America. The news comes as sales of Apple’s iPhone in the United States dropped during the first three months of 2014; as we suggested in our recent AppAdvice International column, “it seems Cupertino is hoping the sales chief can work his magic over on Apple’s home turf.”
We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: Apple Publishes iOS Human Interface Guidelines For iOS Developers On The iBookstore, AppAdvice Daily: Wine Riot – The App Powered Wine Tasting Event, and Auction For Charity Lunch With Apple CEO Tim Cook Closes At $330,001.