In this article, we will take a look at the top 10 best selling smartphones in Japan. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, you can go directly to 5 best selling smartphones in Japan.
According to a Report by Spherical Insights, the Japanese smartphone market was valued at USD 12.68 billion by 2022. The Japanese smartphone market is expected to grow to USD 17.7 billion by 2032 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.4% during the forecast period. The Japanese population is very tech-savvy, one of the main reasons why they contribute to a large smartphone market in the country. The popularity of mobile banking, online shopping and mobile payments in the country is facilitating the growing use of smartphones. This explains why companies in Japan strive to offer the latest technology and advanced mobile and 5G services in the country. You can also check out countries with the most smartphone users.
The changing smartphone dynamics in Japan
In a strategic move earlier this year, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (OTC:SSNLF) decided to re-brand with the company name across Japan. Earlier, the company sold its mobile devices in the country as ‘Galaxy’. Previously, all advertisements, social media and official services were distributed through “Galaxy” instead of Samsung. But on February 28, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (OTC:SSNLF) notified that Samsung’s online store and social networking services in Japan will officially carry the company’s name instead of just Galaxy. New devices revealed under the Galaxy S23 series have also been renamed as Samsung Galaxy S23 devices.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been the undisputed market leader in Japan for years. However, affordable smartphone options from Google have gained immense popularity in the region. September 28, Bloomberg reported that Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone has lost its market to Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google Pixel in Japan. According to the report, Google Phones had a 12% market share in Japan, six times its share a year ago. The Japanese yen has lost its value against the dollar, making the iPhone more expensive, which is one of the main reasons for the shift. Also, since the Japanese market is very tech-savvy, the new iPhone does not provide enough new and advanced features compared to its predecessors.
While the future of the big players is uncertain in Japan, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (OTC:SSNLF) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to have the largest market share in the country. You can also check out some of the best selling smartphones in the world.
Major Japanese smartphone companies
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (OTC:SSNLF) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have a strong presence in the region and account for the majority of smartphone sales, but some of the leading Japanese companies engaged in smartphone manufacturing include Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation’s (OTC:NTTYY) NTT Docomo, Inc., Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY), and Sharp Corporation (OTC:SHCAF). Let’s check out some of the latest updates from these companies.
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation’s (OTC:NTTYY) NTT Docomo, Inc. is a prominent smartphone manufacturer and mobile phone operator based in Tokyo, Japan. Docomo Raku-Raku phone and Anshin Smartphone are two popular smartphone devices of the company. The company is also very focused on improving the communication technology scenario in the country. On November 27, NTT Docomo, Inc. (OTC:NTTYY) reported that the company, together with NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (SKY Perfect JSAT), has formed a strategic collaboration with Project Kuiper. Project Kuiper is a low-orbit (LEO) satellite broadband network from Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Project Kuiper will facilitate improved communication accessibility for Japanese customers and support the use of a range of applications, including the Internet of Things, predictive maintenance, fleet management and remote manufacturing.
Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY) is a multinational conglomerate in Tokyo, Japan. The company produces televisions, car stereos, cameras, imaging platforms, gaming equipment and mobile phones, to name a few. Some of the most popular smartphones from Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY) include the Sony Xperia 5 IV, Sony Xperia 1 IV, Sony Xperia 1 III, and Sony Xperia 5 111. On November 9, Sony Group Corporation (NYSE:SONY) reported earnings for the fiscal second quarter of 2024. The company reported earnings per share of $1.07 on revenue of $18.69 billion during the quarter.
Sharp Corporation (OTC:SHCAF) is a leading electronics company based in Osaka, Japan. The company sells a variety of products, including consumer, solar and business electronics. The company also manufactures mobile phones which are quite popular in the country. On October 3, Sharp Corporation (OTC:SHCAF) notified that it will soon launch its new smartphone device, the Sharp Aquos Sense 8. The new device has a remarkable battery life of 5,000 mAh, which allows people to use the device for two days with a usage of 10 hours per day. It is the first device in the Aquos Sense series with an optical image stabilizer that significantly reduces blur and provides clear and sharp images. The new device has an IGZO OLED screen with a variable refresh rate of 90 Hz. The device is waterproof and weighs only 159 grams.
Now that we’ve discussed prominent players in the region and major Japanese smartphone companies, let’s discuss the top 10 best-selling smartphones in Japan.
10 best selling smartphones in Japan
Finding a methodology for the top 10 best-selling smartphones in Japan was challenging due to the unavailability of data. Therefore, we first sifted through four reports on the Internet, published in 2023, to assess the most popular and best-selling smartphones in Japan. These included Counterpoint Research, Strawpoll, Japan Truly and Techwire Asia. This process allowed us to compile a pool of 15 best-selling smartphones in Japan. We then used the average vendor market share in Japan from Statcounter and the mobile search volume in Japan from Semrush as two metrics to judge the best-selling smartphones and to make our ranking more comprehensive and accurate. Search volume by Semrush is updated monthly, and average vendor market share is based on figures from the past 12 months as of October 2023. The list is in ascending order of vendor market share as the primary measure, with search volume in Japan used as a tiebreaker for two phones from the same business. It should be noted that our method may not be completely accurate but a reasonable estimate of the top 10 best selling smartphones in Japan.
In some cases, we could not find a specific best-selling smartphone model of a certain brand or series despite thorough research. In such cases, we tried to be as specific as possible and have discussed the company’s most prominent and popular model.
10 best selling smartphones in Japan
10. Sharp Aquos
Sharp’s average market share in Japan in October 2023: 1.3%
Search volume in Japan on November 27, 2023: 4,400
According to our methodology, the Sharp Aquos series consists of the best-selling smartphones in Japan. The series includes Sharp Aquos C10, Sharp Aquos D10, Sharp Aquos R3 and Sharp Aquos V, to name a few. Sharp Aquos R8 is a particularly well-known and well-rounded model of the company. The device has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The device also comes with a 4,570 mAh battery and is offered in two colors including cream and blue. The device also supports 5G connectivity, making it a very attractive option for Japanese customers.
9. Xiaomi Mi
Average market share of Xiaomi in Japan in October 2023: 1.8%
Search volume in Japan on November 27, 2023: 590
According to our methodology, the Xiaomi Mi series consists of the best-selling smartphones in Japan. While the company produces a range of smartphones, the Xiaomi 13T is one of the best smartphone devices offered by the company. The Xiaomi 13T has a MediaTek Dimensity 8 200-ultra 4nm low-power processor with a refresh rate of up to 144 Hz. The device comes with a battery life of 5,000 mAh and 67W turbo charging. The device also supports 5G NSA and SA connectivity.
8. Huawei P30
Average market share of Huawei in Japan in October 2023: 2.0%
Search volume in Japan on November 27, 2023: 2,400
According to our methodology, the Huawei P30 is one of the best-selling smartphones in Japan. The 6.1-inch device comes with an OLED screen and weighs 165 grams. The device comes with Android 9.0, but it is upgradeable to Android 10 and EMUI 10. The device has an octa-core CPU, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Huawei P30 has a search volume in Japan of 2,400 on November 27, 2023.
7. Google Pixel 6a
Average market share for Google in Japan in October 2023: 3.0%
Search volume in Japan on November 27, 2023: 2,900
Google Pixel 6a is among the best-selling smartphone devices in Japan for its affordability and premium features. The 6.1-inch device comes with a battery life of over 24 hours, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The device is powered by the Google Tensor Titan M2 security co-processor and comes with 5G connectivity. The device comes in three colors including chalk, charcoal and sage.
6. Google Pixel 7a
Average market share for Google in Japan in October 2023: 3.0%
Search volume in Japan on November 27, 2023: 5,400
According to our methodology, the Google Pixel 7a is one of the best-selling smartphones in Japan. Google Pixel phones have gained huge traction in Japan for their offerings and affordable prices. The device is powered by the Google Tensor G2 processor, has 8GB of RAM, a 6.1-inch display and an ultra-wide 120-degree camera. The device also supports 5G connectivity. The phone has a battery life that lasts over 24 hours.
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Disclosure. No. 10 best selling smartphones in Japan is originally published on Insider Monkey.
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