A report released recently suggests feature-phones are getting the better of smartphones in Japan when it comes to gadgets owned for the first time and that around 20 percent of Japanese customers who use mobile phones now use a smartphone.
ComScore, a leading source of measurements and analysis of the digital world, conducted a study on leading trends in the mobile phone industry of Japan. The research used data released by comScore MobiLens, which gathered data through survey with a sample population of 4, 000 participating Japanese mobile phone users conducted during a three-month period ending in February 2012.
For the three-month period, during which the study took place, 101.3 million people in Japan who fall to the 13-and-above age bracket used mobile devices that could be a feature phone or a smartphone or both. According to the report, multinational electronic equipment maker Sharp was the overall top mobile phone maker in Japan with a total market share of 23.5 percent. Panasonic came second with 13.8 percent of total mobile subscribers. Fujitsu followed suit with 11.8 percent. NEC and Sony completed the top five ranking with 9.7 and 7.5 percent market share, respectively.
Apple, which came in at eighth place, had the highest gain among all device manufacturers with a 1.6 percentage point increase to its market share from November 2011. Sharp experienced the lowest decline with 1.1 percent in point change. Panasonic gained a meager 0.1 percent, following closely to Fujitsu, which gained 0.2 percent. NEC lost 0.1 and Sony lost 0.3.
Daizo Nishitani, Vice President of comScore Japan KK, says,
Smartphones surpassed feature phones as the most acquired device type in February 2012, signalling an important shift in Japan’s mobile market.
The rise in smartphone adoption opens the door to tremendous opportunity for publishers and advertisers to expand their reach and increase engagement with key consumer segments through this channel. Japanese mobile phone users were already highly engaged with their devices, but with the added functionality and higher levels of mobile media consumption we should expect to see significant changes in behaviour among the Japanese mobile population in 2012.
The study also notes that a major bulk of the smartphone industry, which topped at 19.3 million users during the three-month period (28 percent higher than the count in November 2011), was held by Google with its Android holding 61.4 percent market share. Apple came second with 34.2 percent. Microsoft followed with a mere 3.9 percent market share.