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

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Last updated: June 10th, 2022 at 12:53 UTC+02:00

Japan has always been a tough market for Samsung’s smartphones. Apple dominates the landscape and local manufacturers like Sharp have solid positions as well. There was even a time when the Korean giant used to sell its smartphones in Japan without the Galaxy branding.

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

Samsung’s 5G focus has helped it in Japan

Market research firm Strategy Analytics reports that Samsung now has a 13.5 percent market share in Japan’s smartphone market as of Q1 2022. It overtook local competitor Sharp that now accounts for 9.2 percent of the market. Apple still commands the top spot with 56.8 percent of the market.

It’s interesting to note that absolute phone sales of all major smartphone manufacturers declined in Japan this past quarter compared to Q4 2021. However, Samsung was the only company that saw an increase in sales. Samsung’s current 13.5 percent market share is its highest in Japan in more than 10 years.

The intense 5G marketing activities of Japanese mobile carriers is said to have contributed significantly to Samsung’s improving fortunes in the country. When KDDI launched its 28GHz mmWave 5G service in 2020, Samsung’s Galaxy S20 series was the only mmWave-supported device in Japan.

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

Samsung is expected to see even more demand for its smartphones in Japan as local carriers continue to aggressively push mmWave 5G. Even as Samsung’s phone business faces headwinds in other markets, it would be pleased to see that Japan is finally warming up to Galaxy phones.

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