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5 facts about the mobile landscape in Japan

James Kielty - 10 Jul 2018
5 min read

The most used smartphones in Japan

It's a veritable orchard in Japan, where the Apple managed to kick the only blotch on their 2017 report card - the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge - out of the top ten.

The iPhone 7 has replaced the 6 as the most popular smartphone in Japan, and there was jostling for position between the various 6/7/S/Plus variations throughout the opening months of 2018.

Making up the top 20 are devices from Sony, Samsung, DoCoMo and Au.

Country Position Phone model Traffic Share
Japan 1 iPhone 7 19.22%
Japan 2 iPhone 6S 11.45%
Japan 3 iPhone 7 Plus 7.56%
Japan 4 iPhone 6 6.98%
Japan 5 iPhone 8 6.85%
Japan 6 iPhone X 5.94%
Japan 7 iPhone SE 4.93%
Japan 8 iPhone 8 Plus 2.61%
Japan 9 iPhone 6S Plus 2.42%
Japan 10 iPhone 5S 1.96%


Apple is the most popular vendor in Japan

The surprising aspect of the smartphone vendor scene in Japan isn't how big a lead Apple enjoy, but how little share of the market Samsung command.

With just 3.4% mobile traffic share for Q1 2018, the Korean manufacturer is unlikely to catch its US counterpart. The origins of the Apple takeover makes for an interesting read, and it seems Steve Jobs' clever manoeuvring and deals with telcos will pay off long into the future.

The second most popular vendor is DoCoMo, also Japan's predominant operator. Further down the list is SoftBank, who was the first operator to strike a deal with Apple way back in June 2008. They remained the only official carrier of the iPhone in Japan until 2011, when KDDI/Au got in on the action.


The most popular mobile operating system in Japan is iOS

Obviously, it's iOS.

With 68.3% share in Q1, and Android on 31.2%, there's little room for any challengers.


OS Versions is also rather predictable given the iOS dominance, with the latest version - 11.2 - running on 46.1% of devices we spotted in our Q1 data.

2.1% have updated to Android 8 - Oreo, a higher rate than the USA (which has a similar Android/iOS split).


The most common screen resolution is 720x1280

While the iPhone 8 shares the same screen resolution as the 7 and 6, the iPhone X shows its impact on the mobile landscape here too, with 1125x2436 claiming 5.1% of overall mobile traffic in Q1.

750x1334 is the most common, naturally, with 1080x1920 in second spot accounting for a wide range of Android devices, as well as the iPhone 6/6S Plus and 7 Plus.

The third most common screen resolution is 640x1136, which includes the iPhone 5, 5S and SE.


The most popular mobile browser is Chrome Mobile

Safari enjoys a huge dominance in Japan, more than any other country in our data. With 65.5% of traffic share, Apple's default iOS browser enjoys more market share than all other iPhone obsessed countries, such as the US, UK, Sweden and Ireland.

Chrome Mobile takes a healthy 27.2%, with a big drop off to Android Browser, Firefox, Internet Explorer, UC and Opera browser.


Main Image By GoToVan via Flickr.

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