From “Apple dominates in Japan with 56% share as market falls 3.8% in Q4 2018,” a press release that landed on my desktop Monday evening.
Despite a sharp 10.5% decline in Q4, Apple still enjoys a dominant position in Japan, its full-year market share exceeding 50% for the first time in 2018, up from 48.0% in 2017 and 48.2% in 2016. Sharp, in a distant second place, only accounted for 11% of shipments in 2018. Competition is becoming more intense for Android vendors. Local names, such as Sharp, Sony and Kyocera, which used to account for a sizeable share of the market, are being increasingly challenged by Samsung, Huawei and Google, which have pushed in with aggressive spending on marketing.
My take: Steve Jobs loved the Japanese aesthetic, and Japan returns the favor.