Phone business

Samsung’s phone business explodes in Japan with highest share in 10 years

Last Updated: Jun 10, 2022 12:53 UTC+02:00

Japan has always been a difficult market for Samsung smartphones. Apple dominates the landscape and local manufacturers like Sharp also have strong positions. There was even a time when the Korean giant sold its smartphones in Japan without the Galaxy branding.

Things seem to have turned around for Samsung in one of its toughest markets. Its smartphone business is now growing rapidly in Japan and has even managed to overtake Sharp for second place.

Samsung’s focus on 5G has helped it in Japan

Market research firm Strategy Analytics reports that Samsung now holds 13.5% market share in the Japanese smartphone market in the first quarter of 2022. It overtook local competitor Sharp which now accounts for 9.2% of the market. Apple still occupies first place with 56.8% of the market.

Interestingly, absolute phone sales from all major smartphone makers declined in Japan in the last quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. However, Samsung was the only company to see an increase in sales. Samsung’s current market share of 13.5% is the highest in Japan for more than 10 years.

Intense 5G marketing activities by Japanese mobile operators have reportedly contributed significantly to improving Samsung’s fortunes in the country. When KDDI launched its 28GHz mmWave 5G service in 2020, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series was the only mmWave-enabled device in Japan.

Other models supported by mmWave like the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 series in addition to the foldable series have helped Samsung to significantly increase its presence in the Japanese market.

Samsung should see even more demand for its smartphones in Japan as local carriers continue to aggressively push mmWave 5G. Even though Samsung’s phone business is facing headwinds in other markets, it would be happy to see Japan finally gearing up for Galaxy phones.

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