The land of electronics or the land of gadgets, we should say – Japan has been a forerunner when it comes to all kinds of gadgets. People in Japan are often the first to lay their hands on the latest and the coolest gadgets ever made. It is no surprise that the smartphone mania bug that hit the rest of the world did not spare the shores of the Land of the Rising Sun. The Japanese embraced smartphones long before they were called smartphones. Almost all major smartphone manufacturers have established their presence in the Japanese market. Besides, no multinational company would want to ignore the business prospects in the world’s second largest economy.
Over the years, smartphones have become a lifestyle gadgets among the Japanese with almost all the latest smartphone models and variants sold throughout the country. However with the exception of Sony no domestic player is prominently present in the international smartphone manufacturing sector. Nevertheless, these domestic players contribute a significant part to the smartphone population of Japan. The main reason being the several general public service facilities available in such locally sourced smartphones like for example Metro Tickets, Mobile TV broadcasts, etc.
A recent survey conducted by comScore revealed that Japan’s smartphone usage increased phenomenally over the preceding years. comScore studied over 4000 mobile subscribers to analyse the recent trends in the Smartphone usage in Japan. Survey results indicate a near 43% increase in the smartphone adoptation as compared to the previous years. Falling smartphone prices and introduction of new generation operating systems were found as two key factors contributing to this phenomenal growth.
Until a couple of years ago Apple used to have lion’s share in the smartphone market in Japan, but today over two thirds of the country’s smartphone users are using Android based smartphones. Google will be pleased to hear this as they have achieved their primary objective of beating Apple in one of the key smartphone markets, but Apple just cannot be written off. With the global launch of the iPhone 5 around the corner, the company may have the final say by the end of the year.
Despite being shadowed by the remarkable feats achieved by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, Microsoft continues to maintain a noteworthy presence. Although statistically Microsoft finds itself at the bottom of the table with only 3.2 per cent of the smartphone users opting for Windows-based phones, but they, too, are hoping for a strong comeback very soon with Windows 8 OS.
So what exactly is driving smartphone companies to introduce new variants into a market which comprises of most technologically advanced consumers on the planet? The answer is simple: Japanese people embrace any new form of innovation or technology with an open heart. Their tendency to always try out the latest in the market compels manufacturers to introduce newer models on a continuous basis. Though the global economic turmoil may affect smartphone sales elsewhere, the Japanese are in no way going to compromise on their quest for modern day technologies.
The meteoric rise of Android is attributed to it being available as an open source platform, which results in most smartphone makers churning out smartphones loaded with an Android operating system. Locally manufactured Android phones are way cheaper than international brands and hence Android became the technology of the masses. Though not as popular as Apple’s iTunes, Google’s Play Store is quite rich in terms of number of applications and most of top rated applications offered as free. More and more local manufacturers are adopting Android OS because it adds global appeal to their already economical smartphone models.
According to the comScore survey, Sharp is considered as the top smartphone brand in Japan, followed closely by Panasonic, Fujitsu, NEC and Sony. The survey figures show that Smartphones have literally taken over PC’s as the dominant gadget of the new millennia. With a host of new smartphones slated to be launched later this year by top brands, the scene is only going to get better in the days to come.
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About the Guest Author:
Mandira Srivastava is a fulltime freelance writer who specializes in technology, health and fitness, politics, and financial writing. Equipped with degree of mass communication and having worked for both private and corporate clients, I have experience meeting a wide range of writing requirements and styles.