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Smartphone Ownership Jumps in Japan

Nine in ten owners access the mobile web daily, outpacing US daily mobile web usage

March 16, 2012 | Mobile

Smartphones seem to be sweeping across Asia-Pacific, and Japan is no exception.

According to a January 2012 report from Google, smartphone ownership in Japan rose from 6% of the population in February 2011 to 17% in October 2011. Despite the surge, smartphone ownership in Japan was still roughly half that of the US, where 38% of the population owned smartphones in October 2011. However, smartphone owners in Japan used the devices to go online more frequently; nine in 10 owners in Japan logged on to the internet via their smartphone daily, compared to seven in 10 in the US.

Smartphone Owners in Select Countries Who Access the Internet via Smartphone Daily, Feb 2011 & Oct 2011 (% of respondents)

Google highlighted the penetration in Japan of what it called “high-spec feature phones,” which are mobile phones that might have any combination of advanced capabilities, including access to mobile-specific websites, GPS, mobile wallet features or mobile media, but are not full-fledged smartphones. The survey found that 65% of mobile phone owners in Japan had a high-spec feature phone in October 2011, down from 72% in February 2011.

eMarketer estimates that Japan will have 105.9 million mobile phone users in 2012, compared to 242.6 million in the US.

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Check out today’s other articles, “Brand Marketers Home In on Online Target Audiences” and “ESPN Scores on the Power of the Live Sports Experience.”


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