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Apple controls 72% of Japanese smartphone market

Softbank Corp., Japan's sole iPhone carrier, has announced that the iPhone accounted for 72% of smartphones shipped in the country during the fiscal year that ended March 31. The fact that the iPhone has penetrated 72% of the market in Japan is even more impressive given that Softbank Corp. is just the country's third-largest wireless, behind HTC Corp. and Toshiba Corp.

Seventy-two percent of the market equates to 1.69 million iPhones shipped in Japan in the last fiscal year. That's 5.6% of the 30.1 million units Apple sold worldwide in the twelve months ending in March, according to BuisnessWeek.

Things aren't all rosy for the country's iPhone carrier however. "Last year was just the beginning of the smartphone competition, which is why Apple did so well," said Calvin Huang, analyst at the Daiwa Institute of Research "This year will be much more competitive." Indeed, Android smartphones are set to flood the Japanese market in 2010, with some believing that the Google OS will offer serious competition to the iPhone there. However, with iPhone sales skyrocketing and other Asian countries embracing the device, other smartphone manufacturers have their work cut out for them.

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