Handset Country Share Tracker

A vital tracking tool for helping companies measure the success of competitors and partners in their local markets.

April 20, 2015 03:47 woh

Samsung has started to ship its latest flagship devices, Galaxy S6 and S6 edge, to the world this month, and it was confirmed that the corporate "Samsung" logo will NOT be printed on those S6 devices for the Japanese market only.

Based on the Global Handset Vendor Marketshare for 15 Countries: Q4 2014 report, housed under our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service, Sasmung's mobile phone marketshare in Japan has long been dipping from its peak in Q4 2012, pressured from Apple and a number of domestic vendors such as Sony, Sharp and Fujitsu.

We think Samsung's decision to remove its "Samsung" logo from the S6 portfolio at Japanese operators, NTT Docomo and KDDI, is designed to try and enhance its flagging marketshare in the country, by focusing on the products themselves. Indeed, the Galaxy S6 and S6 edge are NOT the first products that will not bear the "Samsung" logo in Japan, as Samsung tried similar bids on the Galaxy Note Edge for NTT Docomo and KDDI, which was publicly launched last year. Also, the Galaxy S5 for KDDI was released without a "Samsung" logo stamped on the hardware casing.

On a related effort, Samsung did not publicly launch its Galaxy Note 4 in Japan, in order to prioritize sales of its other sub-model, the Galaxy Note Edge.

Whether Samsung's special efforts to de-brand in the important Japanese handset market will pay off in the long-term remains to be seen.


February 23, 2015 00:06 woh

According to a recently-published report -- Japan Handset Vendor Marketshare by Operator: Q4 2014 -- posted on our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service -- Apple accounted for a significant 71% handset marketshare at Softbank, the 2nd largest wireless operator in Japan by volume, during Q4 2014.

Not only the larger-sized 4.7- and 5.5-inch-display iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but the one-year-old iPhone 5S also led the growth, recording an all-time-high mobile phone marketshare at Softbank.

Sharp, who co-developed its bezel-less Aquos Crystal with Softbank, solidfied its no. 2 position at the operator, based on the strong shipments of Aquos models.

This extensive report, available to clients, tracks 17 handset vendors' marketshare by quarter at all major operators in Japan, including NTT Docomo, Softbank and KDDI.

November 24, 2014 05:11 woh

According to the recently published 'Japan Handset Vendor Market share by Operator in Q3 2014' under our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service, Apple cemented its no. 1 position at Softbank and KDDI, the Japanese second and third biggest operators, in Q3 2014 due to the influential demand of its newly-launched larger-sized iPhone 6 (4.7 inch) and iPhone 6+ (5.5 inch). Meanwhile, at NTT Docomo, the biggest operator in Japan, Sony kept the no.1 position, mainly due to strong demand for Xperia Z2, Z1 and A2. Apple, no.2 at NTT Docomo, remained lackluster in July and August, but the launch of the new iPhones in September gained robust market traction at NTT Docomo, too, closing the gap between Sony.

The report, available to our paid clients, can be viewed at this link, and covers handset shipments and marketshare for 17 vendors across the big 3 operators in Japan during the third quarter of 2014.

August 22, 2014 01:38 woh

According to the recently published Japan Handset Vendor Marketshare by Operator in Q2 2014 report under our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service, Apple continued to lead the Japanese handset market across NTT-Docomo, SoftBank and KDDI with a dominating market share in Q2 2014 in spite of low seasonaility waiting for the launch of new iPhone 6. Meanwhile, Sony rose to no.1 handset vendor at NTT-Docomo, ahead of Apple, based on the robust sales of Xperia Z2 and A2 smartphones.

Two Chinese vendors, ZTE and Huawei, continued to capture the sustainable market shares at NTT-Docomo and SoftBank with their specialized feature phones for kids while Samsung increased its share sequentially based on the launch of Galalxy S5. This report is available to our paid clients here.

June 2, 2014 07:07 woh

Our Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service recently published the Japanese Handset Vendor Share by Operator Report for Q1 2014, and we tracked that Apple took the top spot at all three big operators, NTT Docomo, SoftBank and KDDI in Q1 2014. Apple competed with Sony, neck and neck at NTT Docomo, but demonstrated invincible performance at both SoftBank and KDDI.

It would be worth noting that ZTE, a Chinese handset maker, keeps maintaining the 3rd largest handset vendor at SoftBank since Q2 2013, based on the steady sales of its specialized feature phones for kids. This report, available to our paid clients, tracks 17 handset vendors' marketshare by quarter at all major mobile operators in Japan.

March 3, 2014 08:39 woh

With almost all developed handset markets such as USA, France, Germany, Canada and South Korea suffering annual handset volume drop in Q4 2013, as identified in our recent report under HCST (Handset Country Share Tracker), Japan is almost the only country which grew annually in Q4 2013, mainly boosted by the explosive demand for Apple's iPhone 5S and 5C products, offered through all three local carriers including NTT Docomo. Apple dominated the Japanese handset market with an all-time high iPhone shipments.

Our Japan Handset Vendor Marketshare by Operator in Q4 2013 report, available to our paid clients, will give the readers how strong Apple was in Q4 2013 in Japanese handset market.

July 10, 2013 03:49 woh

The smartphone shipments in Japan grew a massive +24% annually in Q1 2013. NTT Docomo was the key carrier driving this growth with healthy demand for its Xi branded LTE network and smartphones. In overall Japanese market in Q1 2013, two foreign vendors, Apple & Samsung, and two local vendors, Sony and Fujitsu captured the top four OEMs with robust supply of LTE handsets.

Domestic vendors’ performance remained weak in all three local operators while Sony became the top supplier to NTT DoCoMo, surpassing Samsung and Fujitsu with strong demand for its new flagship Sony Xperia Z smartphone. 

This report published by Handset Country Share Tracker (HCST) service, which is available to our clients, tracks handset vendor marketshare for 17 OEMs by quarter across all major operators in Japan, including NTT Docomo, Softbank and KDDI. The report can be used by handset vendors, component makers, content developers, vehicle manufacturers and others to identify winners and losers by carrier in the high-value Japanese mobile market.

June 13, 2013 17:49 Neil Shah

According to latest research from our Handset Country Share Tracker service, Apple registered its record high marketshare in the Japanese smartphone market. Apple was the top supplier in two out of three Japanese operators during the quarter. Sony was one of the fastest growing smartphone OEM capturing sceond spot as Xperia Z became one of the best selling smartphone models during the quarter.

Domestic brands such as Fujitsu, Sharp, NEC, Panasonic faced tough competition from the growing clout and shelf share of foreign brands, thanks to the global coverage, mindshare of popular sub-brands and flagship models such as Galaxy, Optimus, One, Razr and others.

Meanwhile, NTT Docomo remained the top smartphone operator benefitting from the rising wave of its Xi branded LTE smartphone sales whereas Softbank and KDDI (au) continued to compete closely for the second spot.


ResearchJapan Smartphone Vendor Marketshare by Operator: Q1 2013 (Link)

October 5, 2012 11:40 nmawston

Smartphone shipments in Japan fell -10% sequentially in Q2 2012 due to normal seasonality. Among the top 10 brands, Samsung and Sony were the star performers, almost doubling their marketshare in a few months as a result of enhanced Galaxy and Xperia portfolios. However, their growth has come at the expense of market-leader Fujitsu-Toshiba. The Japanese vendor has lost over one-third of its volumes in the country since the start of the year. More data and analysis can be downloaded here by clients of our Country Share Tracker (CST) service. The report tracks quarterly smartphone volumes for Japan and 14 other major countries, such as Brazil, USA and Germany.