Apple still rules in Japan as carriers battle to sell iPhones

By Sophie Knight

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Better Apple than Google! Even if Apple just shot themselves in the leg with the copycat of their new flat iOS design which is a major step backwards.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

A big downside to the Android platform in Japan is the fact that pretty much every Android in Japan is unique to Japan. The software and hardware is different from near identical models overseas, keeping custom devs and global updates relatively at bay, while giving Japanese carriers a bit more control over their customers. Still, I'd rather get an Android over an iPhone, which is crippled globally by Apple's draconian ecosystem, not to mention their blatant lack of innovation over the past 2-4 years. I give it another year before the rest of Japan shifts away from the iPhone.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

But, you don't have a real iPhone experience until it is coupled with an Apple computer at home. There is no comparison between Androids on this level.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Disillusioned is right. Until you've got two or three Apple devices working together, you really haven't experienced the ecosystem to the fullest. Airplayi s a killer feature!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I'm actually surprised that the iPhone has enjoyed success in Japan given that many Japanese-market cellphones--starting with the gara-kei feature phones and now seen on Android phones sold in Japan--include NFC, very necessary for mobile payment systems that conforms to the Osaifu-Keitai standard originally developed by NTT docomo and pretty much standardized by everyone else. The iPhone lacks this feature, and (in my humble opinion!) had the iPhone adopted NFC starting with the original iPhone 5 model from 2012, Apple would clean up the Japanese (and likely South Korean) market in no time flat.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Magnet: "not to mention their blatant lack of innovation over the past 2-4 years."

Hahaha.... right. Siri? nah. Retina? nah. Fingerprint recognition? nah. Every other company in the world copying them (or just dropping out of the market)? nah. There are only two things the iPhone is inferior in in respect to other smartphones, and even then not by much; price (as in, often too expensive), and battery power. People who talk about wanting bigger screens are likely those that have calculators at home with the huge buttons, and should just go out and by an iPad mini.

What's amusing is that when I was talking to some Panasonic-employed friends the other day about the new iPhone they told me Panasonic was forcing all of its employees into buying Galapagos for in-house communication, to try and keep the dead phone alive. One guy was quite proud of it, really, saying, "Galapagos phones are named as such because they are unique in the world, and evolve differently, much like Japan", to which I said, "and that's the reason they never spread, are isolated, and cannot compete in the world market".

No surprise iPhone takes the cake, and glad Docomo finally gave in and made the smart choice.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I think, iPhone sales in Japan are coming mostly from the same person who bought previous models. Most of my colleagues and friends who bought Apple continue to phrase and idolize Apple products whatever specs of other units and models could offer. But for my colleagues who had experienced 4.9-inch or bigger smarthphones wit 13 to 20 MegaPixel camera, they will never have second thought of buying anything with 4-inches screen.

Recent trends is that several of my friends purchase Galaxy Note or Cheaper Tablet with SD card slot and a Pocket-Wifi from UQ-Wimax or E-Mobile LTE. They they purchased the feature-phone (folding clam-shell) for talk-and-sms in time of calamity because of long-battery offerings of low-tech feature phone.

For this week, the ranking:

Xperia Z1 is the top

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"> Siri? nah. Retina? nah. Fingerprint recognition

This is just implementing other company's inventions in your own product.

People who talk about wanting bigger screens are likely those that have calculators at home with the huge buttons,

Nah they don't have girly baby fingers that's all....and they are not cross eyed.

Panasonic was forcing all of its employees into buying Galapagos for in-house communication

Why would panasonic force its people to use Sharp phones?

The only reason why the Iphone is popular in Japan, is because it's free, and new models can be traded in for old models.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

This article must really piss off the Apple detractors.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

smithinjapan, Siri? Oh please. Like I need or want that. A novelty at best for the lonely and desperate. Retina? Check out other phones and tablets on the market and you'll see that even Retina is outdated tech, with other devices already fitted with screens capable of over Retina's 326 PPI for iPhones, and a rather disappointing 220-264 PPI for it's larger devices (MacBook Pro and iPad, respectively). Retina is no longer a bragging point at all for Apple fans, not even close. As for fingerprint recognition, while it's a nice novelty (from the late 90's), it's usefulness is limited and a little pointless for most people that aren't harboring government secrets, and are quite happy with regular lock-screen methods. There are rumors that Android is working on retina recognition security, but, in defense of all you Apple fans, even I think that's pointless. Docomo is just offering what it's competitors are, to clean up the market, but that doesn't mean by a long shot that iPhones are the best. There's a reason Docomo took this long to adopt it. There are simply better phones out there.

Serrano, it doesn't piss off Apple detractors. It merely shows how backwards the Japanese phone market is these days, as the rest of the world is now wising up and shifting away from Apple's inferior and stale products.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

to love Apple, or hate Apple, is equally dorky.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This article must be true years ago... specifically if we are in the time line 2007 to 2009.

But since 2011, only the catastrophically stupid ever fell for the Apple propaganda, and ignored all the reality that actually surrounded their products. To be more precise, about 95% of apple users belong to this. The rest of the 5% are the super intelligent perhaps in their own discipline like lawyers, accountants, nurses, doctors etc but more on prestige rather than anything else.... but are, still we can categorize them stupid when it comes to communications and computer technology. They will remain apple users forever and try to artificially lineup every incremental apple product release.

Thus as it always will be - you can't change someone's religion with facts, because religion isn't based on facts.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

i think this paragraph sums it all up

“Japan is Apple country,” said Serkan Toto, a Tokyo-based technology consultant. “It was positioned as a cool gadget to have, not because of its advanced features - it doesn’t have a lot of things feature phones have, no e-Wallet, no digital TV tuner - it’s a lifestyle product.”

its nothing to do with specs...its an image thing...along with the smattering of anything foreign(western) in a Japanese drama to denote someone who's doing well at work or in society.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Status of Apple as a leading company is major factor even though iPhone may lack in some areas.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The top best rated phone, according to Consumer Reports is not the Apple iPhone. It's LG G2. So 888naf is correct, it's all about image.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

It's a psychological fact that people are not only attracted by media hype but also by others lining up, clamoring to buy things. In Japan, this includes cakes, donuts, tako-yaki and iphones. Apple products are certainly well-made (I love my ipod touch even though it's now been callously excluded from ios7) and have comparatively few technological glitches but they have lost much of their early "wow" factor and are tied in to that (what many, many people consider) horrible itunes system (whatever kind of PC you have, it's horrible). Apple also always holds something back (look at those atrocious specs on the first ipad mini); in the past, car manufacturers called this "planned obsolescence". It can be guaranteed that a 5-inch iphone is well past the drawing board stage and they'll all be lining up for it next November.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Dont mistake strategic innovation with competition. Im not sure were Tim C is going with Apple but I think they have stayed on focus, which is to satisfy their customers. Why do you think they have so many loyal customers? The so called hysteric competition with Samsung in media is mostly Samsungs media concerns/marketing together with market analytics I think. They do their best to try to affect the markets psyche in order to gain more profits. Ive tried a Samsung Galaxy and I was not even close to impressed in terms of usability. The camera was okay. Ill stick with Apple.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites