Samsung’s phone market share hits 6-year high in Japan

Samsung Electronics has enjoyed brisk sales of its latest smartphone the Galaxy S10 in Japan, causing its market shares to rise to a six-year high in the second quarter, according to industry data.

Industry tracker Strategy Analytics said Samsung smartphones accounted for 9.8 percent of the Japanese phone market during the second quarter, with 600,000 smartphones sold, up from 8.8 percent a year earlier. Market leader Apple accounted for 50.8 percent.

The figure is the highest in six years. While the company sells the largest number of smartphones in the world, Samsung has had relatively poor success in the neighboring country where Apple has shown its dominance with over half of the market share.

“The improved market share in Japan stemmed from the increased?popularity of the Galaxy S10 and budget smartphone Galaxy A30,” a Samsung official said.

Samsung launched its flagship smartphone Galaxy S10 in March. Equipped with more cameras, a hole-punch display and newly added features such as reverse wireless charging, Samsung saw increased consumer interest.

Also, the Galaxy A30 has gained popularity with its large 6.4-inch display and dual cameras. Priced between 30,000 yen ($285) and 40,000 yen, depending on the mobile carrier, the budget smartphone is also water- and dust-proof, a rare feature in this price range.

Samsung had a mid-10 percent market share in Japan until 2013 but the figure plunged to 3.4 percent in 2016 as it lost its foothold due to the continued dominance of Apple and rise of Japanese makers.

In a bid to bolster its localization effort, Samsung removed its company logo from its smartphones in 2015 and used the Galaxy brand instead. Thanks to the move its share improved, rising to 5.2 percent in 2017 and 6.4 percent in 2018.

To get closer to Japanese customers, Samsung opened a Galaxy showcase store in the popular Harajuku district of Tokyo in March. Samsung holds various events such as promoting its devices or hosting mobile game competitions at the flagship store to attract visitors.

To commemorate the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Samsung also released an Olympic edition of the Galaxy S10 Plus for Japanese consumers in July.

Following Apple and Samsung, Sharp took the third-largest market share with 7.2 percent, while Sony had a 7 percent share, placing fourth. China’s Huawei, which took the fourth-largest share with 5.9 percent in 2018, took a 3.3 percent share this year, ranking fifth. The company has struggled with its sagging smartphone sales as it has faced a U.S. government clampdown on its products.

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