According to a new report from comScore Japan KK, both Google Android and Apple are showing excellent growth in the smartphone space in Japan. But Google is winning over customers at a much faster rate to start 2011.
While Apple put up a very solid 17 percent growth over the past six months to reach 3.9 million mobile subscribers, Android has doubled it’s subscriber base in the last three months alone to reach 4.6 million in March. Both companies are clearly doing well, but Android’s recent trajectory has given it the number one position from Apple, and should keep it there for some time.
Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS represent 87 percent of the entire smartphone market in Japan. But expect Android’s dominance to continue, as even Softbank – the current carrier for iPhone in Japan. When we spoke to him in April, Softbank EVP Ted Matsumoto openly stated that Android holds great promise, and that realistically “100 percent of our users cannot be iPhone users.” In addition, DCM’s recent A-fund (backed by gaming giant GREE) will do much to enhance the Android ecosystem.
The president of comScore Japan KK, Daizo Nishitani, commented on Japan’s recent enthusiasm for smartphones:
Although smartphone adoption rates in Japan have historically lagged behind the U.S. and Europe, we have witnessed the rapid increase of smartphone users in Japan throughout the past several months fueled by iPhone and Android devices. Smartphone adoption is increasing not only in the larger cities like Tokyo, but throughout the smaller regions as well, signaling what could be the beginning of a tide change in the Japanese mobile market.
As for the most popular handsets in Japan, that space is still dominated by the iPhone, with three models occupying a top five spot. Sony Ericsson’s Xperia and Toshiba’s REGZA Phone T-01C rank at the second and fifth spots respectively as of March.
- Apple – iPhone 4 32GB
- Sony Ericsson – Xperia
- Apple – iPhone 4 16GB
- Apple – iPhone 3G S 32GB
- Toshiba – REGZA Phone T-01C