In the past two years, Apple has gained a too important presence in Japan, inconvenient for local brands, which grazed in a very special market, controlled by the operators of the country.
Apple considers it to be the region of the planet with the growth fastest in its phone division, with the best market share, and profit margins – 50% compared to 35% of average in the rest of the world – improving numbers that have that historically is its best market, United States.
Estimates speak of a share market of 37%, in a country where most phones are smart. During 2013 is expected to sell between eleven and twelve million phones Apple in Japan, doubling the figure of last year. For the year that comes already refers to 20 million iPhones in Japan.
Last year there were five markets in which Apple grew up in profit margins, Japan is one of them. This is a surprising circumstance for local brands, who never had a stranger dominating you the market.
Analysts are not reasoning based on prices or specifications, not prices, simply the people want an iPhone, as you want a product from Louis Vuitton or Burberry. It also helps the fact that Apple has made a very powerful campaign in Japan, as well as the harsh conditions imposed upon them by the operators to have it in your catalog.
The role of the operators
In Japan, as in the United States, does not tend to buy phones, practically all achieved with operators price plans. Interestingly it is in countries where it is otherwise where the iPhone does not work as well, due to its high price.
For example, in China the price of the new iPhones is prohibitive, and there Yes would need a more affordable model, in addition to any special operation with operators such as China Mobile, the largest in the country and the planet. If we’re going to India, the smartphones that are sold below $200, and the Apple market share is less than 5%. In general the behavior of Apple in Asia is related to growth.
Samsung does not work in Japan
Another aspect to take into account are the Korean brands, between Samsung and LG are much of the cake around the world, but in Japan they do not enjoy the confidence of customers, despite part of the catalogues of the operators in privileged locations.
Samsung is the fourth manufacturer in Japan, has Apple, Sony and Sharp.
A last fact that has put the market in a better position for Apple is the disappearance of competitors like NEC or Panasonic, with interesting market shares in Japan, but they were businesses that could not hold.
The main boost in sales occurred in September, when NTT DoCoMo decided to sell the iPhone. It is the operator that sends in Japan with 62 million customers. This situation is complicated for other manufacturers that they are forced to play with the prices to be more competitive, and is that 5S iPhone is available with three major operators.
In regards to tablets, although there is less surprise, 50% of the Japanese market is for iPads.