Feeds

Smartphones finally outsell featurephones ... in Japan

You took your time, lads

The Power of One Infographic

Forget China – Japan proved that its domestic mobile market is one of the most mature on the planet with new stats showing smartphone sales passed feature phone sales for the first time ever in February.

Market-watcher comScore surveyed over 4,000 Japanese mobile subscribers to compile its latest MobiLens report for the three months to February 2012.

Nearly one in five Japanese mobile phone users now own a smartphone, up 28 per cent since November, with Apple driving the trend thanks to market share growth of 1.6 per cent – the biggest of any mobile OEM during the period.

“Smartphones surpassed feature phones as the most acquired device type in February 2012, signalling an important shift in Japan’s mobile market,” said Daizo Nishitani, vice president of comScore Japan.

“Japanese mobile phone users were already highly engaged with their devices, but with the added functionality and higher levels of mobile media consumption we should expect to see significant changes in behavior among the Japanese mobile population in 2012.”

Although Apple was the strongest performing device maker, it still ranks a lowly eighth place in the overall Japanese mobile market with a share of 6.5 per cent, according to comScore.

Sharp remains top with 23.5 per cent of the market, followed by Panasonic (13.8 per cent), Fujitsu (11.8 per cent), NEC (9.7 per cent) and Sony (7.5 per cent).

It’s also losing out to arch-rival Android in the smartphone platform stakes too, with a share of 34.2 per cent to Google’s overwhelming 61.4 per cent.

Things get a little bit better for the fruity slab-maker when we look at pure smartphone sales, however. The iPhone 4S propelled Apple to the top of the charts in the final quarter of 2011 with 27 per cent of the market to Fujitsu’s 18 per cent and Sharp’s 16 per cent, according to IDC stats.

Given that it’s also one of the few Asian countries steaming ahead with 4G services, Japan is clearly still streets ahead of its regional, and most of its global, competitors when it comes to all things mobile.

Its domestic handset makers continue to find it difficult to break into foreign markets, however, and have struggled to repel the charge of foreign smartphone companies in Japan led by Apple.

Earlier this month, for example, Fujitsu bought out Toshiba’s share of the pair’s joint venture in a bid to focus its sights more keenly on the prize.

On the global stage too it has also become something of an inevitability that eventually it will be overshadowed by rapidly growing China, although despite local makers like ZTE and Xiaomi building budget handsets, the People’s Republic is some years away from the point at which smartphone sales exceed feature phone sales. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.