Now that demand for smartphones has grown enough to allow plenty of brands to emerge on the market, you would think the popularity of the iPhone would have decreased. Yet in Japan, the iPhone still seems to reign supreme, so much so that it’s one of the things that foreigners notice about Japanese phone culture. Even smartphone giant Samsung has repeatedly experienced low sales and has almost pulled out of the Japanese market, thanks to the immense popularity of the iPhone.
Interestingly, iPhone use is disproportionately popular among young Japanese women, especially among high school girls. A recent study showed that 84.8 percent of Japanese high school girls surveyed owned iPhones, leaving just over 15 percent using other brands.
But why? Many other smartphone brands have produced stronger and more technologically advanced products. Even Chinese phones, which are cheaper, are getting better and better. Android products are also more universally compatible with other tech. And yet, still, some iPhone users are almost fanatical about their Apple products.
The survey sought to explain why high school girls, in particular, still love their iPhones, by hypothesizing that fear of being ostracized or of feeling left out is what drives young women to use iPhones. It seems silly, but teenagers bully each other for much less, so it’s very plausible.
It probably doesn’t explain the whole picture, though. There could be many factors that work together to make the iPhone the most appealing smartphone for young women. Japanese netizens had some ideas, too:
“Japan is still in a ‘village mentality.’ If everyone else is doing it, people think they have to do it, too. That’s the pressure of conformity.”
“It’s not really that complicated. If they’re not the same brand, it’d be hard for them to learn from each other how to use them.”
“It’s not like they must have an iPhone, it’s that they only know how to use the iPhone.”
“No, it’s because they want to pick the most stable product, which is the iPhone.”
“There are so many more iPhone cases and accessories. Isn’t that why?”
Actually, the last netizen has a good point. In the case of high school girls and young women, at least, the absolute abundance of accessories for iPhones is probably a big reason why they manage to stay so popular.
While you can find aisles upon aisles of cool things like "Legend of Zelda" and "Sailor Moon" cases for iPhones, the most accessories you’ll find for other brands is at best a couple of rows in one section of a single aisle. The fact that you can easily customize the exterior of your iPhone, which is undoubtedly important to young women trying to express themselves, is likely a major factor.
Of course, this doesn’t completely explain why iPhones remain popular across all demographics. We may never know exactly why they are number one in Japan, but at least visitors who are Apple fans can rejoice in the sheer amount of Apple friendly merchandise available here.
Source: livedoor NEWS via My Game News Flash
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