Smartphones account for half of mobile device shipments in Japan in Q1

Smartphone shipments in Japan grew 4.0 percent year over year in Q1 to 6.8 million units to account for half of the overall mobile device market in Q1, according to IDC’s Japan Quarterly Mobile Device Tracker.

Total shipments in the Japan mobile device market for Q1 came to 13.6 million units, an increase of 9.7  percent on a year-over-year basis.

While the PC market declined by 4.6 percent in the quarter, the rapidly growing tablet market enjoyed year-over-year growth of 187.2 percent to slightly more than 2 million units. The tablet growth was largely driven by the availability of inexpensive new tablets and huge sales incentives from mobile operators to boost the shipping volumes of LTE (4G) tablets. 

“Smartphone shipments are expected to reach 30 million units in 2013, as forecast, but the annual growth rate will be slower given the maturity of this market. In comparison, the tablet market will continue to see rapid expansion over the next few years thanks to a growing demand for inexpensive tablets. While unit growth will continue to be good, inventory problems and fierce price competition could present challenges to vendors in both markets,” noted Michito Kimura, Senior Market Analyst, PC, Mobile & Client Solution, IDC Japan. “Despite these challenges, smartphone shipments are forecast to surpass 37.0 million units in 2017 while tablet shipments are expected to reach 9.7 million units in 2017.”