Last year, I covered an article from Wired that turned out to have been badly researched, claiming the iPhone was not popular in Japan. Since then, it has become clear that, far from being unpopular, the iPhone has done very well there.
TechCrunch has the latest evidence to this effect, citing a Japanese study showing that the iPhone commands a 4.9% market share in the entire Japanese cell phone market, with estimated sales of over 3 million units. Considering how cell phone crazy the Japanese people are, and how many fancy Japanese phone features the iPhone does not have, that is even more impressive.
The iPhone might very well be the perfect e-book-reading machine for the space-conscious Japanese. Certainly larger e-book readers have had a tough time of it so far.
Numbers are a funny thing. 3 million units sounds like a lot. Less than 5% of the market? Not so much. So phrases like “big in Japan” are very subjective.
A shame the article doesn’t provide detail on sales of other individual phones, so we could see if there are any individual models that outsell iPhone, or if the rest of that market is made up of smaller sales of more numerous phone models. The report, of course, is in Japanese…