BCN is a Japanese company that tracks consumer electronic device sales in Japan and for the month of December it shows the iPhone holding the top 7 and 10 of the top 13 selling smartphones in Japan. (Note that my family and I own Apple shares).
iPhone seems to be dominating the Japanese smartphone market
In BCN’s findings for the month of December the various iPhones by models, storage capacity and carriers held the following positions:
- iPhone 5s: #1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 12, 13, 18, 24
- iPhone 5c: #3, 5, 9, 23, 28
- Softbank held #1, 4, 5, 13, 28
- Au held #2, 3, 7, 18, 23
- NTT DoCoMo held #6, 9, 12, 24
Sony Xperia was in the #8, #10 and #11 positions.
The iPhone was a bit stronger in the last week of November when it held the top 9 positions
- iPhone 5s: #1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12, 14
- iPhone 5c: #4, 8, 20, 24, 26
- Softbank held #1, 3, 4, 6, 20
- Au held #2, 7, 8, 12, 26
- NTT DoCoMo held #5, 9, 14, 24
Note that the Sony Xperia was in #10 and #11 with ZTE in #13 during the week.
The iPhone 5c and 5s ramped faster than the iPhone 5
BCN measured how fast the iPhone 4s, 5, 5c and 5s ramped from the day they became available. The 5c had the slowest ramp of the four but when combined with the 5s the two of them soundly beat the iPhone 5’s from a year ago.
In Kantar’s November smartphone survey it estimates that the iPhone’s Japanese market share increased from 61.1% in October on a three month rolling average to 69.1% in November (it was 76.1% in the month of October). From various months of data I have for Japan this is up from a low of 47.4% in August and from 66.2% in December 2012.
Strong iPhone sales should make Japan the fastest growing region for Apple again
In analyzing Apple’s 10-K Japan was Apple’s fastest growing region at 41% and 27% year over year growth in the September quarter and fiscal 2013, respectively. It also had the highest operating margin of any region at 50.7% in fiscal 2013 with the America’s in second place at 36.4%.
Japan was the only segment to increase its operating income year over year in fiscal 2013. Its operating income increased by 16% to $6.8 billion while every other segment saw theirs decline between 3% (U.S.) to 13% (China and Retail).
If BCN’s numbers are anywhere close to being right the addition of NTT DoCoMo along with new iPhones and iPads should produce stellar results in this region for at least the December quarter.