According to the latest reports, Japan has been a difficult market for Samsung smartphones. Apple dominates the market, and local manufacturers such as Sharp also have a solid position. There was even a time when the South Korean giant used to sell its smartphones in Japan without the Galaxy brand. Things seem to be getting better now. Samsung’s smartphone business is now growing rapidly in Japan, even successfully surpassing Sharp for second place.
Market research firm Strategy Analytics reports that Samsung currently has a 13.5 percent market share in the Japanese smartphone market as of the first quarter of 2022. It surpassed local rival Sharp, which currently holds a 9.2 percent market share. Apple still holds the top spot with a 56.8% market share.
Interestingly, absolute handset sales for all major Japanese smartphone makers declined in the last quarter compared to Q4 2021. However, Samsung was the only company with sales growth. Samsung’s current 13.5% market share is the highest in Japan in more than a decade.
The Japanese mobile operator’s intense 5G marketing campaign is said to have contributed significantly to Samsung’s handset sales in the country. When KDDI launches its 28GHz mmWave 5G service in 2020, the Samsung Galaxy S20 series is the only mmWave-enabled device in Japan.
In addition to the folding screen series, other mmWave-enabled models such as the Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S22 series have helped Samsung significantly increase its market share in Japan.
Samsung’s smartphone demand in Japan is expected to increase as local operators continue to push ahead with mmWave 5G. While Samsung’s mobile phone business faces headwinds in other markets, the Japanese market has emerged as a new bright spot for growth.