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.

iPhone 12 purchasing opinions in Japan

This quite comprehensive survey was published just a few days before the iPhone 12 went on sale, but it’s out now, so please excuse my slightly late translation of MMD Labo’s look at iPhone 12 purchasing opinions.

I’m quite anti-Apple after a few bad experiences with Mac computers; I understand their appeal but I dislike their user interface philosophy of ease-of-use over control.

I’m also extremely ambivalent on 5G as a consumer technology; coverage in Japan is almost non-existent outside a tight area around major train stations, and adverts with all these holograms suggesting flawless telepresence are just unrealisable pipedreams. The extremely low latency is good, though, but I doubt the average consumer will really notice.

Google Map almost thrice as popular as iPhone’s own Map

This survey from TesTee Lab looked at iPhone mapping apps.

I’m on Android, but I’d be lost (groan) without Google Map. I’ve only tried Yahoo! Map through web sites like Facebook, but I’ve not been impressed. In Japan, Google is very bilingual-friendly (too friendly sometimes, as it sometimes searches in the wrong language) and the memory of places one has previously visited is exceptionally useful. The trains are full of adverts for NAVITIME, and it looks good and exceptionally detailed, but although it claims to be free for basic features, I worry it will be nagware, so I’ve never bothered trying. Its vehicle navigation features appear to be almost as good as dedicated car navigation systems, but as I only drive when I rent a car, and the cars come with navigation as standard, I never bother with smartphone apps.

One thing I did learn from the report was the abbreviation NPS, Net Promoter Score, which is a value indicating how much people love or hate a particular brand, etc. I’m not sure how useful the figures are in this case, so rather than report the exact numbers, I’ll just summarise the outcome (hint: people hate Apple’s stock app).

Here’s why you want to use a map app when you’re in Japan; this is just a fraction of the Tokyo area lines – the subway and all private lines are missing for a start:

Japan Rail Tokyo

Then again, I survived quite happily long before apps were ever invented; kids today, bah humbug!

One in four thinking about a new iPhone, most want more battery life

Might you buy the new iPhone 7? graph of japanese statisticsWith the new iPhone 7 expected to be announced next week, this is a timely survey reported on by Internetcom and conducted by Macromill into the new iPhone.

The rumours I’ve heard are no headphone jack; Bluetooth only, which I can believe Apple would do regardless of customer complaints; and support for Japan’s Felica NFC chip standard, to allow it to be used on public transport here, which I would be surprised to see.

New iPhone 6s: Silver 64GB model most popular

Are you interested in the iPhone 6s, 6s Plus? graph of japanese statisticsShortly before the launch of Apple’s iPhone 6s, MMD Labo conducted a survey into the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus.


Over the 17th and 18th of September 2015 3,000 mobile phone users aged between 15 and 69 completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No age breakdown was given, but there were 1,000 respondents from each of the three major mobile carriers, docomo, au and SoftBank.

I’m not interested in the iPhone at all; it mollycoddles the user too much for my liking, and I’ve not been a faw of Apple since way back when I had to use one that was too clever for its own good, getting in the way of the workflow I wanted to do, and more recent encounters have been similar exercises in frustration.

Satisfaction of iPhone versus Android purchasers

How satisfied are you with your iPhone battery life? graph of japanese statistics
How satisfied are you with your Android battery life? graph of japanese statisticsMobile Marketing Data Labo have been producing some very good surveys recently, and this one – actually pair – is no exception, a look at how satisfied people who purchased smartphones this year are, with the survey being conducted separately for both iPhone users and Android users.


For both surveys, between the 25th and 27th of November 2013 1,000 Android purchasers and 1,000 iPhone purchasers completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was presented.

One trend I’ve heard about informally is that there is a movement away from smartphones to owning two devices; a feature phone for voice calls and a tablet for web browsing. I’ve yet to see a survey on this aspect, but hopefully MMD Labo can cover this topic in the coming year.

Buying the iPhone 5s or 5c from Docomo

Are you thinking about buying the new iPhone from NTT Docomo? graph of japanese statistics\goo Research published a detailed report on a survey they conducted into Apple’s iPhone, with a particular focus on the largest carrier in Japan, Docomo, and their plan to carry the new iPhone5s and iPhone5c, their first foray into Apple phones.


Between the 13th and 17th of September 2013 1,765 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.6% of the sample were female, 7.5% in their teens, 12.5% in their twenties, 15.9% in their thirties, 14.8% in their forties, 14.4% in their fifties, and 34.9% aged sixty or older. The percentages in each age band and both sexes reflected the results of the 2010 Census.

Again, I am quite stunned by the positive view of the general public here of the iPhone. In Q3Q3, note that in the top eight answers, only one answer is perhaps related to the quality of Android, whereas the top three in Q3Q1 seem to relate directly to the iPhone’s qualities.

Android’s main docomo sales point: no docomo iPhone

What do you most expect from a docomo iPhone? graph of japanese statisticsMacromill Research conducted a survey into the attractions of the iPhone which revealed some rather interesting data.


On the 11th of September 2013 between the hours of 7 pm and 9 pm 2,000 members of the Macromill online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The respondents were between the ages of 15 and 69 years old, and the sex and age demographics were (if I understand the Japanese term correctly!) distributed equally, as Macromill usually do; 50:50 male and female, and a sixth in each age band from teens to sixties.

Personally, I dislike the iPhone as it feels too rigid an ecosystem, everyone has one, and I’m just not an Apple fan, and particularly not a fan of Apple fans! Looking at the data, I can now understand why docomo decided to join the other two carriers and start selling Apple’s device.

iPhone satisfaction as high as ever

au iPhone 5 users: How satisfied overall are you? graph of japanese statisticsSoftBank iPhone 5 users: How satisfied overall are you? graph of japanese statisticsCross Marketing recently conducted a survey into iPhone5 satisfaction levels, and interestingly choosing to contrast satisfaction levels between users of the two carriers who offer the phone, au and SoftBank.


Between the 19th and 21st of July 2013 1,000 iPhone5-owning members of the Cross Marketing monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 500 of the users had au by KDDI as their carrier, and 500 had SoftBank. The ages of the sample ranged from 18 to 59 years old, but no further demographic information was provided.

SoftBank have been putting a lot of effort into stressing how their network has improved – indeed, I have previously presented statistics showing how good they are – and the message seems to be getting through with satisfaction ratings being higher in almost every category as seen below.

Here SoftBank explain the concept of “Connecting”, assisted by Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United and Bob Sapp, an ex-American Football player:


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!