Apple has witnessed significant growth in the Land of the Rising Sun. It is one of the five regions where Apple’s operating profit grew in the last fiscal year, it is also the market where Apple gets its biggest profit margins. The Wall Street Journal reports that Japan is now Apple’s fastest growing market, with Cupertino holding 37 percent of the smartphone and 50 percent of the tablet market in the country. This success comes at the expense of local manufacturers, who now face an even tougher challenge on home ground.
Apple’s margins in Japan are 15 percent higher than anywhere else in the world, the report claims, adding that the company’s sales climbed almost 30 percent during the past fiscal year alone. To put things in perspective take a look at sales growth in China, which is said to be an important market for Apple. Over the same period of time, sales grew just 13 percent in China as opposed to 30 percent in Japan. The reason for this is believed to be the company’s brand positioning, Apple’s brand value is seen equaling the likes of Burberry in Louis Vuitton. A Tokyo based analyst, Eiji Mori, claims that when in Japan choose a new mobile phone, its not about specifications or rationale, “its about owning an iPhone.” Apple has evidently gained a strong footing in Japan, one that might be a cause of concern for the likes of Sony and Sharp. It won’t trouble NEC and Panasonic anymore though, given that both companies are now out of the smartphone business.
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