Samsung’s smartphone market share in Japan hits a six-year high

Samsung’s smartphone market share in Japan hit a six-year high in Q2 2019, a new Strategy Analytics data shows. According to the data compiled by the firm, Samsung shipped around 600,000 smartphone units in the Japanese market in the April-July period. The numbers account for about 9.8% of the country’s smartphone market. Apple dominated the market with 50.8% share. Japanese firms Sharp and Sony came third and fourth with 7.2% and 7% market share, respectively.

This is Samsung’s highest market share in Japan in six years. Samsung’s market had last hovered above 10% back in 2013. Since then, it declined to 3.4% in 2016, before steadily rebounding to 5.2% in 2017 and 6.4% in 2018. The latest surge is attributed to strong sales of the Galaxy S10 series in Japan.

Tougher times ahead for Samsung in Japan

Samsung has been exploring ways to expand its foothold in the Japanese market. Japanese mobile carriers are preparing to roll out 5G networks ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and Samsung is eyeing a big chunk there. Samsung is a Worldwide Olympic Partner in the Wireless Communications Equipment category. The South Korean company also opened its largest Galaxy showcase store in Tokyo in March this year to mark 500 days to go until the 2020 Olympics.

However, the escalating trade war between Japan and South Korea may not help Samsung’s cause. Japan has dropped South Korea from a list of favored economic partners, which may adversely affect Samsung’s smartphone business in the country. The new order goes into effect this Wednesday, August 28. It places restrictions on the export of more than 800 “strategic materials” to South Korea.

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