Apple topped for the first time Japan’s mobile phone market in 2012, occupying the first place for 12 months in a row. Apple’s lead in 2012 ends Sharp’s monopoly at the top of the market in the last six years.
Apple’s top position is an important success for the maker of the iPhone, as Japanese mobile phone users are known for taking more time to adopt smartphones, the Japanese press comments.
So far, web-enabled feature phones used to be popular in Japan, and this is why local firms such as Sharp and Fujitsu, each of them holding 14 percent of the market, managed to be on top every year. But in 2012 they occupied secondary positions, as the American company held 16 percent of the Japanese mobile market.
It is not the first time when Apple tops the mobile market, but when this happened in the past it was only for short periods of time and only when the company launched a new product, such as the iPhone 4S in 2011.
Another visible change on the local mobile market was that foreign brands have accounted for more than 50 percent of the sales during the fourth quarter of 2012.