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AppAdvice International: Apple's Japan Sales Chief Switches To North America

AppAdvice International: Apple's Japan Sales Chief Switches To North America

May 13, 2014

Doug Beck

This week on AppAdvice International, we’re looking at how Apple is hoping to improve on its sales of iOS devices in North America through moving Doug Beck, Cupertino’s chief of sales in Japan and Korea, over to take control of the North America region. News concerning Beck’s move came after we heard that Zane Rowe, Apple’s head of sales for North America, was leaving his position for undisclosed reasons.

As we explained last week, “Rowe joined Apple some two years ago following a 19-year stint at Continental Airlines. He then joined United when the two companies merged in 2010 and acted as chief financial officer.” Following this, Rowe moved to Apple and oversaw “sales to large enterprises, schools, retail outlets, and carriers.”

Though we’re indeed unsure why Rowe is leaving his position at Apple, more significant is Rowe’s replacement: Doug Beck, chief of sales for Japan and Korea. Beck has recently overseen impressive sales in Japan, in particular, and it seems Cupertino is hoping the sales chief can work his magic over on Apple’s home turf.

We’ve discussed Apple’s impressive performance in Japan in previous editions of AppAdvice International, but as a recap, Beck has indeed helped Cupertino achieve a growing share of the country’s market over the last few months. In a report published towards the end of April, data from Kantar Worldpanel indicated exactly how well Apple was performing in the country.

For the months January-March 2014, Apple’s share of the U.S. smartphone market fell 7.8 percent for the period. In Japan, however, Cupertino instead gained an impressive 8.6 percent, and at present it appears to be the company’s best market. Take a look at the data, which originally reached us from TechCrunch:

At the time, Kantar Worldpanel’s Dominic Sunnebo said:

Japan’s love affair with Apple shows no sign of fading. Even though the iPhone has now been available on Japan’s largest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, for a number of months Apple still accounts for more than 40% of sales on the network. The success of the iPhone is also filtering through to the iPad, with almost a quarter of Japanese iPhone owners also owning an iPad. With smartphone penetration in Japan lagging well behind Europe and the US, Japan will remain a key growth market for Apple.

Apple’s iPhone 5s launched with Japan’s biggest carrier, NTT DoCoMo, on Sept. 20, and Cupertino saw impressive sales of the handset during the following months. Doug Beck is sure to have played a significant role in fostering Japan’s adoption of the iPhone, and it indeed seems that Apple is hoping Beck can help sales of the device in North America during the months leading up to the launch of its anticipated iPhone 6.

In U.S. Apple Retail Stores, at least, Apple is also encouraging iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c sales through its recently launched iPhone upgrade event. Cupertino has been contacting eligible customers over the past week, informing them that they’re able to upgrade to an iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c handset free of charge when a qualifying device is traded in.

It’ll be interesting to see how Apple’s performance in North America and Japan develops following Beck’s move. We’ll be certain to share more relevant information as we receive it.

In the meantime, for more of our recent news, see: Mockups Of Apple’s Bigger iPhone 6 Are Compared In 2 New Videos, AppAdvice Daily: Get Romantic The App Way And Check Out A Great New Photo Editor, and AppAdvice App Of The Week For May 12, 2014.