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Time for some update on the iPhone front in Japan.

GfK Marketing Service Japan Ltd. has recently released its 2008 survey on Japan Consumer Electronics satisfaction (thanks to Nobi for the head’s up).

The Apple iPhone 3G is a long-tail product, a rarity in the handset market. Expectation rising for smart phones to capture the corporate market.

Reminding us how the iPhone was able to capture 13% market share on its debut last July 11, the report details how it generated constant sales over time. It states that in December 2008, the iPhone had a 8% share of the smartphone market in Japan.

While this number can impress, let me remind you how tiny the smartphone business is in Japan compared to the rest of the world. The percentage has, therefore, less significance than in other markets. Still, with business accounts making up to 12% of the subscribers in Japan, there is a wide margin to gain traction for any smartphone, including the iPhone.

More interestingly, the report goes on to state that Apple was able to gain 1% of the total market share in Japan, going as high as 2% in December 2008 only. If you compare that with what I’ve just stated, this is more impressive: gaining 1% of a market share with a single smartphone model in a country where smartphone have historically failed is quite a feat.
It is also in line with Apple’s goal that was set around this percentage number.

Nobuyuki Hayashi (widely known as Nobi) adds a spin to the iPhone story. He reports that a consumer satisfaction survey that ran in 2008 places Apple’s products at the top. The iPhone comes widely ahead in the mobile phone category (100 means complete satisfaction):

iPhone 3G 16GB (Apple / 73.7)
SO906I (Sony Ericsson / 66.6)
W61CA (CASIO /65.2)
W61SH (SHARP / 64.3)
923SH (SHARP / 63.3)

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