Despite Apple's powerful and overwhelmingly positive brand recognition within the tech savvy Japanese consumer marketplace, the iPhone remains less of a juggernaut smartphone than Apple would likely prefer.
Earlier this spring, Apple - for the first time in the company's history - secured the top spot among all consumer brands in Japan in Nikkeiís annual brand ranking. But while the Apple image is still strong in Japan, competitors are slowly and steadily chipping away at Apple's market share. In particular, Sony Corp.ís share of Japanís smartphone market has now climbed to a three-year high, widening its lead over Apple's iPhone.
On Thursday, further evidence of Apple's growing pains in Japan emerged as the nation's largest wireless carrier reiterated that it's simply in no hurry to carry the Apple smartphone.
"The question we need to ask is how many customers will continue to leave DoCoMo from now on because we don't have the iPhone," Kazuto Tsubouhi, NTT DoCoMo's Senior Executive Vice President, tells the Wall Street Journal. "There will always be some customers who switch to the iPhone, but things have changed from the time in the past when the iPhone looked like the god of all smartphones."
I think the iPhone with its own OS is like DisneyLand. There are many people who love DisneyLand, and you can be perfectly happy inside that world. But some people might also want Snoopy or Spiderman, and those are not allowed in DisneyLand. You canít sell Snoopy goods inside DisneyLand.