NTT DoCoMo is Japan’s largest mobile provider, with 61 million subscribers. That represents approximately 45.8% of Japan’s mobile market. Smartphone adoption has notoriously been slower in Japan compared to the other large mobile markets. Here’s smartphone adoption among a few countries as of December 2012 from this comScore report (the US was just above 50%):
And until this September, NTT DoCoMo was the last of the large operators to offer the iPhone in Japan.
And according to this report, Apple’s share of new phone sales in Japan jumped to 34% (from ~14%) of total phones in just a single month since NTT DoCoMo began offering the iPhone.
Below are some articles I found that tell a pretty good story about NTT DoCoMo’s adoption of the iPhone.
September 2013: NTT DoCoMo to sell iPhone in Apple stronghold Japan
October 2013: NTT Docomo Posts Profit Rise After Adding iPhone
Now that 45.8% of Japanese subscribers have access to the iPhone, I think we’ll see the pace of the shift from feature phones to smartphones increase dramatically in Japan.
Here are some stats on phone sales in Japan in the week following the launch of the 5s and 5c. Not surprisingly, 16 of the top 20 selling phones were iPhones.