Who’s At The Top of Japan’s Mobile Market?

Which smartphone giant is the apple of Japan’s eye? As it turns out, the apple is, indeed, Apple. According to recently published industry data from the tech-savvy nation, Apple sold more handsets (iPhone5) in Japan than any other manufacturer during 2012.

This accomplishment marks the first time Apple has secured the top spot in Japan among mobile consumers. Apple claimed a 16% market share in the fourth quarter of 2012 and 15% for the full year.

Traditional local champions Sharp and Fujitsu each took 14% of the market in 2012.Apple ended Sharp’s 6 year reign last year as it took the crown.

“Japan was once considered to be like a Galapagos Island, an isolated terrain, in terms of mobile technology,” reads a new report from analysts at Counterpoint. “It had its own unique digital cellular technology. It was far more advanced than any market in the world and it seemed nearly impossible for any foreign technology company to penetrate the market. Motorola had failed and Nokia had failed. The wave of smartphones has changed the situation now and it looks like the Japanese market is a market that can be transformed after all for better or worse.”

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