Samsung Increases Smartphone Market Share in Japan

  • By Kang Dong-cheol

    August 27, 2019 10:27

    Samsung's share of the Japanese smartphone market rose to 9.8 percent in the second quarter of this year, the highest in six years powered by sales of the new Galaxy S10.

    According to market researcher Strategy Analytics on Monday, Samsung sold 600,000 smartphones in Japan from April to June to rank a distant second in terms of market share after Apple's 50.8 percent. 

    Still, that is a bumper result in a market where Korean phone makers traditionally fare poorly. Samsung's market share rose one percentage point compared to a year ago and fourfold compared to a trough of 2.4 percent in the third quarter of 2018.

    Samsung's Galaxy showroom in Harajuku, Tokyo

    In the early 2010s Samsung took up as much as 14.8 percent of Japan's smartphone market thanks to collaboration with the country's largest telecom NTT Docomo. For a moment it lagged behind Apple by just four percentage points.

    But since then, Apple has firmly seized the market for premium phones, while Sharp and Huawei overtook Samsung in the race for mid- to low-priced handsets.

    Samsung spent a hefty amount of money on marketing, opening a Galaxy showroom in the trendy Harajuku district of Tokyo, while introducing an Olympic edition of the Galaxy S10 Plus in July.

    Critics have hailed the Galaxy S10, saying that it is the only premium handset that rivals the iPhone.

    One industry insider said, "Samsung's market share in Japan could rise further since it has secured a solid footing for 5G services, which are expected to be launched in the country to coincided with the Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year." 

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