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Smartphone market share Japan 2020, by model

Japanese consumers showed a clear preference for Apple iPhones in April 2020. iPhones occupied top three spots in the smartphone model sales ranking in Japan, spearheaded by Apple iPhone 11, with a sales share of approximately 19 percent.

Smartphones in Japan

Since Japan - as one of the first countries worldwide - introduced smartphones in 1999, the share of smartphone users has grown: today, more than every other individual in Japan owns a smartphone. A recent survey has even found that smartphones have surpassed computers as the main device to access the internet. Japanese smartphone makers, however, have not benefitted from this growth. While Japanese consumers have always preferred highly advanced domestic brands for mobile phones, such as Sony, Panasonic, these brands do not seem to be able to compete against Apple when it comes to smartphones.

iPhones convincing Japanese consumers

When the iPhone initially hit the Japanese market as iPhone 3G in 2008, Softbank Corp, one of the three largest Japanese mobile carriers, secured exclusive rights and contributed to its success by implementing bold pricing and smart marketing campaigns. After overcoming skepticism among Japanese consumers due to the unfamiliarity with the newly introduced systems, iPhones began to dominate sales in the Japanese smartphone market. The popularity of the brand in the country amplified when other major mobile carriers provided iPhones together with their own mobile networks, including au by KDDI in 2011 and NTT Docomo in 2013.

Share of smartphone models sold in Japan as of April 2020, by model

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In cooperation with
Counterpoint Research
Release date

August 2020



Survey time period

April 2020

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Statistics on "Smartphone market in Japan"

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