Apple strikes gold in Japan

“Apple Inc. is striking gold in an unlikely place: Japan,” Daisuke Wakabayashi and Mayumi Negishi report for The Wall Street Journal.

“In the past two years, Japan has emerged as Apple’s fastest-growing region, far outpacing its home market and the booming economies of Greater China and the rest of Asia,” Wakabayashi and Negishi report. “Japan is also home to Apple’s biggest profit margins, and the only one of Apple’s five regions where operating profit grew in the past fiscal year. That is surprising because Japan isn’t most companies’ idea of a growth market. It has labored through two decades of economic malaise, and is saddled with a shrinking, aging population. Moreover, domestic firms that pride themselves on consumer electronics have kept foreign competitors at bay for decades.”

“The iPhone has propelled Apple’s success in Japan, supported by heavy marketing and rich subsidies from telephone companies. The iPhone’s cachet taps Japan’s fervor for brand-name goods, similar to how Japanese shoppers once flocked to Louis Vuitton bags and Burberry scarves,” Wakabayashi and Negishi report. “One unique factor in Japan is the relatively small presence of Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest smartphone maker. Samsung ranks fourth in Japan behind Apple, Sony and Sharp Corp., in part because of a Japanese consumer bias that works against many Korean brands.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Maybe the Japanese have taste, not bias? Perhaps they simply reject derivative, poorly-built junk? Maybe they just refuse to reward thieves?

30 Comments

    1. More than recent history.. During dubuya dubuya touuu the Japanese capture Korean women (among other countries women) and turned them into sex slaves, torturing and killing them. Then in the recent past the Japanese removed such references from their history books. Now North Korea is accused of kidnapping Japanese women. There will be very little if any Korean profits coming from Japan.

        1. Comments like that, althegeo, are proof that either you are younger than 50 and a product of USA public school education, or that you slept through history class. Either way, it’s insulting, asinine, and an affront to all the Americans who served in WW2.

          When you have an enemy like Japan was in WW2 at that time, defeated but refusing to acknowledge it, and with a military government which literally held the power of life and death over its citizens (and hundreds of thousands if not millions of citizens of other countries, all of whom were at risk), and who defiantly refused to surrender even after the first bomb (essentially denying it as a fluke), your options get pretty limited. The second bomb drop left the military government without options, which opened the way for Emperor Hirohito to legally take control of his own government and order an unconditional surrender.

    2. Japan may be judged and punished for its crimes committed during WW2 to this day, but Japan has its right to defend the innocence. As Americans, we set the right example to forgive and allow the world to heal, while others were stubborn and cautious. For centuries, Asian countries like other countries around the world have been bickering over land and resources even to this day. As modern as we may appear to be, we still bicker. As Korea demonstrated in the last decade, they toppled Sony with Samsung. Korea’s next goal is to topple Honda and Toyota. It is really a war, an economic war the wealthy fund. Is it any wonder North Korea doesn’t want to have anything to do with South Korea?

    3. I understand the historical context, but usually the enmity comes from the side of the victim, in this case Korea. You don’t see Koreans buying much from Japan. Usually the perpetrator treats goods made by others with disdain rather than contempt.

      China is in the same boat as Korea on this issue, and while the Chinese gov’t will fan the flames of anti-Japanese rhetoric from time-to-time to deflect criticism of the gov’t, I still see lots of Japanese cars on the road, in China.

    4. Not true. Most young Japanese like Korean food, dramas and shopping and hold no ill will at all. They generally love America and they don’t teach nation-hate in the schools.

      It’s the relatively few nationalistic ones that have some disdain for Korea. It helps that Japan has been successful(Toyota, Sony, Yamaha etc.) and humbled (both by the US in WWII and by the market in the bubble crash of the 80s). They’re also not opposed to foreign brands except where those brands don’t meet the specialized local needs.

      From what I’ve heard from friends in Korea, sadly they still fuel the nationistic fervor in Korea among their youth. This is probably partly due to mandatory military service (mandatory military service generally fuels divisive national pride) and Korea’s recent rise from underdog status to economic force.

  1. If all what has been said by everyone about Japan being biased was true then how come Samsung invest in Sharp and save them from bankruptcy? How come Samsung is fourth, after Apple, Sony and Sharp? They should be fifth or sixth, if all this was true, after Apple, Sony, Sharp, Nintendo, Fuji, Hitachi, and many other Japenese electronic firms.

  2. all of this will be moot when fukushima finally blows. and look what is in the path of the direct fallout! North America, for years to come.

    why has this situation been allowed to fester? where is the u.n.? where is the outcry – this is way beyond global warming. there needs to be a massive international cooperation to bring under control this calamity waiting to happen. this is way beyond japan’s or any single nation’s capability.

    happy rememberance day.

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