Apple’s Japanese Market Share Grows to 36.6% in First Quarter of 2014

Apple’s market share in Japan has increased significantly, as NTT Docomo, the country’s biggest wireless carrier, has started selling the iPhone, reports Bloomberg. As of the end of March, the Cupertino company was accounting for 36.6% of market share, up 11.1% compared to a year earlier, according to MM Research Institute’s data. Apple shipped a total of 14.43 million iPhones in Japan during the past fiscal year, the market research firm says.

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Apple was followed by Sharp, who shipped 5.14 million handsets, grabbing 13% of the Japanese smartphone market, and Sony with 12.3% (4.84 million units), the firm says. Samsung, Apple’s fiercest competitor across the globe, ranked sixth, with 5.7% market share.

After seeing its market share drop, NTT Docomo inked a deal last fall with Apple to sell the iPhone 5s and 5c. Japan’s biggest carrier had been losing subscribers over the past couple years, and the wireless player decided to counterbalance it by selling the iPhone. Since then, things have changed: earlier in January Bloomberg highlighted the “iPhone effect”, pointing to the 279,000 subscribers added in one quarter, the most new subscribers since December 2011.