Most phones bought in Japan are now imports

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Most phones bought in Japan are now imports

Non-Japanese handset makers garnered over half of the Japanese market for the first time in the fourth quarter as consumers moved away from local manufacturers for a wider array of mobile devices, a report showed yesterday.

It marked the first time ever that foreign handset makers managed to surpass the 50-percent mark, with Apple leading the race with 16 percent in the October-December period, according to the report by Hong Kong-based researcher Counterpoint Technology Market Research. The quarterly figure marks an increase from 10 percent in 2011.

Samsung Electronics’ market share reached 8 percent, down from 10 percent in 2011, while LG Electronics’ market share gained 1 percentage point to 4 percent.

The report also showed Huawei’s sales jumped three-fold in the period, without disclosing the figures for the Chinese handset maker.

The increase in the market share of foreign players was attributed to their head start in introducing smartphones running on Android and iOS platforms.

The report also said promotion efforts by Japanese mobile carriers also weighed on homegrown manufacturers.

“In 2012, both Softbank and KDDI heavily promoted the new iPhone 5 to challenge Docomo. This move sparked a battle of smartphones in which Docomo fought back with various new smartphone models, the majority of which were also foreign-branded,” said Peter Richardson, research director at Counterpoint. Yonhap

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