Japanese Mobile Device Market to Grow Despite Slump in Android Sales

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Japan mobile device market is predicted to reach 55.9 million units with year over year growth of 7.1% in 2013 according to IDC.

IDC Japan expects the market will continue to grow over the next five years, reaching 63.3 million units in 2017. The growth will be largely driven by smartphones and tablets, which are expected to expand to 37.5 million and 10.1 million units respectively in 2017.

According to IDC's Japan Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker, the total shipment of domestic mobile devices fell to 12.97 million units in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13), declining -4.8% year over year. Smartphone shipments experienced a sudden slowdown in 3Q13, dropping to 6.9 million units, which represents a year-over-year decline of -13.7%.

The slowdown was mainly due to a sales slump in Android-powered smartphones.

In contrast, the tablet market recorded another healthy quarter, growing 63.9% year over year to 1.8 million units. Sales of low-price tablets and 4G tablets to both consumer and commercial markets, helped by huge sales subsidy by operators, kept demand stable throughout the quarter.

"Looking forward, the smartphone market will show another surge in the short-term, led by NTT docomo's decision to launch the iPhone 5S/5C aggressively from the third quarter," said Michito Kimura, Senior Market Analyst, PC, Mobile & Client Solutions, IDC Japan. "The tablet market will continue to experience double-digit growth and will establish another shipment record in 2013 with a cheerful combination of sales increases for both low-price tablets and high-end ones, such as 'iPad Air'."

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Japan Mobile Device Shipment, 2012-2017

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