“iPod mania is alive and well in Japan — one of the most competitive consumer-electronics markets on the planet. Despite an array of well-entrenched Japanese rivals, such as Sony and Matsushita, the iPod had cornered 51.3% of the digital-music player market as of the end of 2005, up from about 32% in 2004, according to research firm BCN. Sony was a distant second with 16.2%, while Panasonic grabbed just 8.2% of the market,” Ian Rowley reports for BusinessWeek. “Others have exited the market entirely. In November, Olympus, maker of the m:robe music player, pulled its product. D&M Holdings, owner of the Rio brand, exited the stage in August. Apple’s killer market-share grab is even more impressive when you consider that the overall Japanese market for music players shot up 50% to 4.2 million units in 2005. ‘Suffice to say, iPod has been a huge success,’ says Hiroshi Kamide, an analyst at KBC Securities in Tokyo.”
“‘Apple has focused on developing a seamless, end-to-end experience for the consumer when it comes to portable music,’ says Jon Erensen, a senior research analyst at Gartner Dataquest. ‘Other companies, including the Japanese consumer-electronics giants, have been focused on one or two pieces of the equation.’ Sony, for example, has received plaudits for design and sound quality, but criticism for its Connect software,” Rowley reports. Apple’s “iPod absolutely rules Japan’s digital-music player market — pretty amazing when you consider that Japan is home to some of the toughest competitors imaginable in the global consumer-electronics game.”
Full article here.
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