Although this recent survey by goo Research and reported on by japan.internet.com showed Apple way out ahead in the smartphone market in Japan, this gap will surely narrow in the near future, not least thanks to Sharp’s soon-to-come iPhone killer.
Between the 6th and 8th of October 2010 1,086 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.2% of the sample were male, 16.4% in their teens, 18.2% in their twenties, 21.7% in their thirties, 16.2% in their forties, and 27.4% aged fifty or older.
Sharp’s new IS03 is getting heavy advertising coverage right now, although it does look more like a promotion for Usian Bolt than a cell phone advert. The reason to suspect it might be an iPhone killer is first that Sharp have a track record for producing smartphones even before the term was invented (the W-ZERO3 series mentioned in Q1SQ1) and have made other innovations like the Netwalker (although it priced itself out of the market), but second and more importantly, the IS-03 is an iPhone for the Japanese market, with both One-Seg digital television decoder and FeliCa electronic cash chip on board. Furthermore, the carrier, au, have a much better image than Softbank, so there would be less resistance to switching carrier just for the device. It needs a sexier name than IS-03, however!
Q1: Other than an ordinary mobile phone, which mobile devices do you normally carry with you? (Sample size=1,086, multiple answer)
Nintendo PS 42.4% Ordinary portable computer 22.2% Sony PSP 16.8% Smartphone (to SQs) 9.6% Netbook 7.0% PDA 1.4% PND 1.3% Tablet computer 1.0% MID, UMPC 0.4% Other 0.5% None of the above 38.9%
Q1SQ1: What smartphones do you have? (Sample size=104, multiple answer)
iPhone series 70.2% Google mobile (Android-based) 15.4% Windows Mobile (except W-ZERO3 series) 9.6% W-ZERO3 series 7.7% BlackBerry 2.9% Other 3.8%
Q1SQ2: How often do you use your main smartphone? (Sample size=104)
Hardly ever out of my hand 40.4% Often use it 29.8% Sometimes use it 23.1% Rarely use it 4.8% Never use it 1.9%