Most patterns of device ownership and usage in Japan are age-dependent.
Smartphones were slow to achieve very high usage in Japan, largely due to two factors: the early introduction and broad adoption of multifunctional feature phones and the older skew of the population.
In H1 2018, about 6 percentage points separated the ownership rates for smartphones and PCs in Japan. By H1 2019, however, that gap had widened to more than 10 percentage points: 86.2% of internet users ages 16 to 64 owned a smartphone, compared with 75.6% who had a desktop or laptop.
PC ownership is increasingly concentrated among older users. More than eight in 10 of respondents ages 45 to 64 owned a desktop/laptop, vs. fewer than 63% of 16- to 24-year-olds. The opposite was true for smartphone owners: Penetration for the youngest group stood at 98.1%, compared with 76.5% of those 55 to 64. Affluents in general were more likely to own either device.
Tablet ownership was also highest among respondents in the most affluent households, at more than 35%. But as this figure suggests, tablets have never really caught on with a significant proportion of internet users in Japan. Overall penetration was just 28.1% this year.