iPhone grabs 36.6 percent of Japanese mobile phone market

iphone-5s-5c-heroApple’s share of the Japanese mobile phone market is on the rise, climbing 11 percentage points year over year. According to a report in Bloomberg, this climb is due in part to the expansion of the handset to Japan’s largest wireless carrier NTT Docomo, which started offering the phone last September.

iPhone shipments now account for more than a third of Japan’s mobile phone market in the period ending March 2014. This figure is up 11 percentage points from last year when Apple’s iPhone models accounted for a quarter of the phones in the country.

Apple boosted iPhone shipments in Japan to 36.6 percent of the market in the year ended March, up from 25.5 percent a year earlier, according to Tokyo-based MM Research Institute Ltd. The Cupertino, California-based smartphone maker shipped 14.43 million phones in Japan the past fiscal year, the researcher said.

Other handset makers behind Apple include Sharp with 13 percent market share and Sony with 12.3 market share. Samsung was number six with 5.7 percent market share.

These results echo an earlier report from Kantar World Panel that pegged Apple’s smartphone market share at a dominant 56.7 percent. The popularity of the iPhone again was attributed to NTT Docomo, with the iPhone responsible for more than 40 percent of sales on the wireless carrier. Japan will be a key are of growth for Apple going forward as smartphone penetration in the country is low compared to Europe and the US, where the majority of cellular customers already own a smartphone.