iPhone corrals 75% of Japan’s phone market

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iPhone corrals 75% of Japan’s phone market

Apple sold three out of every four smartphones in Japan last month after the country’s largest carrier, NTT Docomo, began carrying the iPhone, according to a market researcher.

Apple, which released new iPhone 5S and 5C models in September, won 76 percent of Japanese smartphone sales last month, market researcher Kantar Worldpanel ComTech said Thursday.

Apple’s share of smartphone sales at NTT Docomo was 61 percent after it began offering the iPhone for the first time, Kantar said in a post on its Twitter account confirmed Thursday by Dominic Sunnebo, an analyst with the company in London.

Japan’s three wireless carriers all sell iPhones after NTT Docomo, the nation’s largest, ended its holdout against Apple’s handset as it attempts to regain market share from smaller rivals which already stock the devices. NTT Docomo had 45.7 percent of Japanese mobile subscribers in October compared with 29 percent for KDDI and 25.3 percent for SoftBank, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

NTT Docomo had resisted offering the iPhone to focus on handsets from Sony and Samsung Electronics and protect its online store, called dmarket, from competition with Apple’s iTunes.

Shares of NTT Docomo rose 1 percent to 1,650 yen ($16.13) in Tokyo. SoftBank fell 1.7 percent to 8,290 yen and KDDI fell nearly 2 percent to close at 6,430 yen. The Topix index declined 0.2 percent.

“It is true that iPhone sold well,” Jun Ootori, a spokesman for NTT Docomo in Tokyo said Thursday. He declined to comment further because the company doesn’t know details of Kantar’s research.

Apple introduced two new iPhones, including a cheaper version in bright colors and an updated high-end device that NTT Docomo began selling in Japan on Sept. 20.


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