Apple's Stunning iPhone 6 Performance in Japan Humiliates Samsung who now Contemplates Abandoning that Market
In November we posted two reports on just how well the iPhone 6 was selling in Japan (one and two). Apple is so loved in Japan that even Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo was pleased to announce that "Apple has decided to undertake cutting-edge R&D in Japan." 2014 was also the year that NTT DoCoMo gave up on Samsung's Tizen OS and signed on with Apple to sell the iPhone. In just this past quarter, iPad sales in Japan were up a whopping 46%. With all this love for Apple, Samsung executives are considering pulling out of the smartphone business in Japan as they did with televisions back in 2007.
A new report published in Korea today states that "Samsung Electronics chose Japan as the first country in which to release the Galaxy Note Edge in October 2014, where YOUM technology was used on both sides of the phone. The company made its bid to increase its share of the Japanese market, the world's largest premium market, through the new model. However, the results were not good.
According to industry sources on Feb. 9, Samsung is in a quandary over its struggling smartphone business in Japan. Some in the company are reportedly saying that continuing the business only causes losses rather than profits.
The Korean tech giant accounted for 4 percent of the Japanese smartphone market as of December of last year, which put the firm in 6th place. Samsung was kept out of the top 5 for two years, and its share decreased from 17 percent to 4 percent.
Apple topped the list, and Sony and Sharp followed. The Galaxy Note Edge only sold tens of thousands of units for four months after its launch.
In our November 10 report we noted the following: "That echoes the enthusiastic take of South Korea's Kim Young-chan, an analyst from Shinhan Investment who stated in October that "iPhones will outsell the Galaxy Note 4 by tenfold, with 80 million units shipped worldwide in the October-December period." While I thought that was a little enthusiastic, with only 4% of the smartphone market and only tens of thousands sold, it appears that Apple did crush Samsung in Japan by tenfold if not even more: Ouch!
While consumers in the Japanese market have a strong preference for locally-made products, Apple seems to buck that trend handsomely. Samsung's sluggish sales performance in the market has placed Samsung's management in a quandary. Pulling out of the smartphone market may actually be an option that management is now considering so as to not tarnish their global image.
The report notes that "Samsung already withdrew its TV business from Japan in 2007. Although it became the top-ranked TV marker in the world in 2006 for the first time, the Korean firm constituted merely 0.1 percent of the Japanese TV market in 2007. In the end, Samsung decided to pull out of the Japanese market, since its poor performance in the country had a negative effect on its image as the number one TV producer in the world."
The success of the iPhone 6 in Japan has been nothing short of staggering which is victory enough for Apple. Yet just the thought that Samsung was so humiliated that Apple continues to trounce them in Japan that they're thinking of abandoning that market, just makes the victory all the sweeter.