Android just ahead of iPhone in Japan

This survey from MMD Labo into mobile service provider usage shows three-quarters of Japanese using one of the three full-service, full-price carriers, but with all three launching new low-cost self-service plans, it will be interesting to see how these figures change.

I’m a long-term Docomo/Android/Sharp Aquos user myself, and I am considering switching to Docomo’s new plan ahamo, which gives you 20Gb and 5 minutes free per call for about 3,000 yen including tax.

High-speed mobile data congestion in Tokyo; iPhone worse than Android

Mobile Marketing Data Laboratory recently conducted a study into data packet congestion in LTE 4G networks in Tokyo. Packet congestion was defined in this survey as when on an LTE connection the web page under test – Yahoo! Japan’s top page was used – fails to completely load within 30 seconds.


Between the 10th and 14th of June 2013 the investigation team visited the six busiest stations on the Tokyo Yamanote line, choosing two spots on each to test, during both the morning peak period of 7 am to 9 am, and evening peak of 5 pm to 7 pm. 100 connections were made from each collection point, for a total of 1,200 tests for each phone.

Specifically, the stations and locations were Shinjuku South and East entrances, Ikebukuro in front of South ticket wicket and Seibu East entrance, Shibuya in front of Tamagawa ticket wicket and Hikarie entrance, Tokyo Yaesu Central entrance and Marunouchi North entrance, Shinagawa Minato South entrance and Central ticket wicket, and Shinbashi Kasumori entrance and SL Plaza. For the tests, au and SoftBank iPhone 5s tested out Apple connections, and Android was represented by docomo’s Xperia Z, au’s HTC J butterfly, and SoftBank’s Aquos Phone Xx.

Instead of a graph, here’s Shinbashi’s SL Plaza:

17:01 Shinbashi

SL is the abbreviation used in Japan for Steam Locomotive, as you might have guessed!

Majority of Japanese Android users will never return to Galapagos

Will you never go back to a standard mobile phone? graph of japanese recently reported on an interesting survey from Trend Micro into Android smartphone usage. Actually, no survey title was given in the article, but that is probably close enough to the theme.


Towards the end of 2012 316 people between the ages of 18 and 59 who had changed from a feature phone to Android in 2012 completed a web-based questionnaire, although it is not clear how they were selected or if the survey was private or not.

Note that Galapagos in the title comes from a frequently-used term for Japanese feature phone which have evolved in isolation to devices uniquely suited for their environment, but unable to establish a foothold anywhere else in the world.

Downloading corporate-sponsored apps to smartphones

Have you ever downloaded an application offered by a corporate entity? graph of japanese statisticsiShare recently took a look at the use of corporate apps.


Between the 24th and 27th of June 2011 1,871 members of the CLUB BBQ free email forwarding service who had downloaded an app to their smartphone completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 84.7% of the sample were male, 5.4% in their twenties, 43.6% in their thirties, 40.0% in their forties, and 11.0% in their fifties.

Not having a smartphone myself, and not having played with such an app on someone else’s smartphone, I cannot really make any comment here!

Android catches up with iPhone in Japan

Despite the iPhone having an almost 18 month head start on Android, according to this survey from goo Research, reported on by, into mobile devices (the 9th time this regular survey has been conducted) Android and Android-derived OS users now equal iPhone users.


Between the 25th and 28th of April 2011 1,080 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.6% of the sample were male, 15.8% in their teens, 18.1% in their twenties, 21.8% in their thirties, 16.4% in their forties, and 27.9% aged fifty or older.

I have another marketplace-based survey that I will translate later that shows that Android is outselling iPhone, which of course is implied by the results of this survey.

Note that until last autumn about the only Android devices available were lower-end HTC devices and a couple of local attempts, all of which were very poor compared to the iPhone, and hopeless when compared to the Japanese standard feature phone. However, now every Japanese manufacturer is now in the game, and the features that Japanese consumers expect, namely One Seg digital television, Osaifu Keitai electronic cash and deco-mail (HTML mail) are available. Furthermore, the iPhone is only available from SoftBank, which has just 20% of the handset market, whereas SoftBank plus the other two big players, docomo and au, have huge numbers of Android-based phones.

Just today, in fact, docomo announced their summer models, with 9 new smartphones, including Panasonic’s interesting (but very, very girlie) interface that supports one-handed operation, an essential feature for train riders.

Thumb interface:

OMG hearts:

Girlie Twitter:

Finally, note that Galapagos is Sharp’s own customised Android version – they cannot use the Google trademarks due to the heavy customising they have done.

About half the Japanese can explain what the iPad and iPhone are

Are IT-related technical terms difficult to understand? graph of japanese statisticsA recent survey by goo Research, reported on by, looked at IT-related technical terms.


Between the 30th of July and the 3rd of August 2010 1,077 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 52.9% of the sample were male, 16.5% in their teens, 18.1% in their twenties, 21.4% in their thirties, 16.2% in their forties, 15.7% in their fifties, and 12.1 aged sixty or older.

At work I often hear technical terms being bandied around that I think people either don’t understand, have misunderstood, or even worse, have taken on a specific meaning throughout the company not really related to the original definition. My two pet hates are “cloud” for “hetrogeneous network” and “black box” for “immutable interfaces”.