Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/08/18/apple_iphone_big_in_japan/

Japan's top-selling mobile: iPhone 3GS

Apple cracks 'difficult' market?

By Tony Smith

Posted in Phones, 18th August 2009 09:03 GMT

The iPhone 3GS was the top-selling mobile phone in Japan last month, figures from market watcher GfK show.

The Japanese mobile market is very different from those in the West. Over there, mobile net access has long been taken for granted, local phone makers are favoured and Japanese definitions of what makes a good handset don't match up with Westerners' ideas.

The list of top-ten phones contains only one brand we over here would consider major: Sony Ericsson. Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, LG and HTC don't make the list at all.

So it's a testament to the iPhone UI that Japanese buyers lifted it above popular offerings from Sharp, Panasonic, NEC and Casio.

The best-selling phone was the 32GB 3GS - the 16GB model came in ninth place. GfK said the 3GS sold twice as quickly as the 3G did last year.

Still, July was the 3GS' launch month and may have coincided with a general downturn in Japanese handset sales. Further months figures will be required to see whether Apple's success was a one-off or is a sign that it has become a major player in Japan. ®