Smartphone shipments in Japan continue to outpace those of feature phones, as the market shifts its preference away from home-grown feature phone manufacturers towards Android and iOS devices. According to new March 2016 data released by IDC, overall mobile device shipments in Japan last year were down 5.9% vs. 2014, with IDC reporting shipments of 34.42 million devices.
|▲ Feature Phone vs. Smartphone Shipments in Japan, 2014 & 2015 (millions of units and % change)|
The decrease was primarily due to rapidly declining demand for feature phones, which saw sales decrease by 31% between 2014 and 2015. By way of contrast, Japan's 2015 smartphone shipments increased by 3.6% over the year prior, reaching a total of 27.49 million units.
|▲ Mobile Phone* and Smartphone** Users in Japan, 2014-2019|
eMarketer's own forecast of mobile phone and smartphone users in Japan provides further evidence of this switch. Estimates suggest that smartphone users in Japan will make up 55.8 million individuals, or more than half of all mobile phone users in Japan, in 2016.
Considering smartphone shipment share in Japan by company, shipments of Apple's popular iPhone device far exceeded those made by any Japanese company. According to IDC's research, Apple smartphone devices accounted for more than 52% of the market in 2015, with a patchwork of other manufacturers accounting for the remainder. The next-closest Japanese manufacturer, Sony, accounted for just over 14% of the 2015 smartphone market.