Despite a 10.4% decline in the fourth quarter, Apple continues to dominate the smartphone market in Japan. According to the Canalys research group its market share exceeded 50% for the first time in 2018. That’s up from 48% in 2017 and 48.2% in 2016.
The iPhone XR continued 39.8% of Apple’s shipments in the quarter. Canalys says the the iPhone Xs and Xs Max performed poorly compared to the iPhone X during their launch quarters, shipping only 1.4 million units in aggregate. This dragged Apple’s overall average selling price from $794 to $744.
Overall, smartphone shipments fell 3.8% year-over-year in Japan in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2018, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of declines. In terms of shipment numbers, the country came in fourth globally, behind China, the U.S., and India. Approximately 32.5 million smartphones shipped in Japan in 2018; that’s 1.9% fewer than in 2017.
Canalys forecasts a 2.7% year-on-year decline in smartphone sales in Japan in 2019. The research group says the country is affected by a changing market dynamic coming this year: a price cut in mobile subscription costs of ups to 40%.