Recently, International Data Corporation (IDC) has published a forecast that the Japanese mobile device market, comprised of PCs, smartphones, tablets, and data communication products such as mobile cards and personal routers, will reach 56.1 million units with year-over-year growth of 7.5% in 2013.
The market will continue to grow in the next five years, and reach 65.2 million units in 2017. The growth will be 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 grew to 12.31 million units in the second quarter of 2013 with a healthy year-over-year growth rate of 14.7%, while PCs dropped to negative growth on a unit shipment basis.
In terms of smartphone shipments in 2Q 2013, the market showed a surge and reached 6.5 million units for a significant increase of 26.8% year over year due to strong demand for the iPhone5. In addition, the tablet market recorded more bright results, growing 92.0% year over year to 1.8 million units in the quarter driven by the sales of low-price tablets and 4G tablets, with both consumer and commercial markets keeping up the stable demand, led by huge sales subsidy by operators.
“Looking forward, in the short term, the smartphone market will surge again because NTT docomo, the largest operator in Japan, has decided to launch iPhone5S/5C from Q3 in 2013,” said Michito Kimura, Senior Market Analyst, PC, Mobile & Client Solutions, IDC Japan. “Similar to the good performance of the smartphone market, the domestic tablet will continue to show another shipment record in 2013; however, the low-price competition among the vendors and the pile-up of inventory will be a negative factor to slow down the pace of the growth year by year.”
Japan Mobile Device Shipments, 2012–2017