Why iPhone? Why Apple products are popular in Japan? | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

3 Things to Know About iPhones. Why are iPhones So Popular in Japan?

By Ferinmi Feb 3, 2019

This post is also available in: Spanish

Nowadays, phones are not only used to make a call or send/receive messages but as a camera or and mini computer which can connect to wireless internet in customer’s hands. According to  Device Atlas’s poll, this poll represented the results of the most popular smartphone in 2019

This poll website shows that the most popular smartphone in Japan is the iPhone 7. Based on my experience, I rarely saw any Japanese people using an Android smartphone; mainly I never saw a Samsung. At that time I used iPhone 4s, and I needed to use cellular data to use the GPS and looking up the different train lines.

As you know, trains in Japan have many different routes, and it can be extremely complicated to reach the right platform. Not only that but I couldn’t find a micro sim card in Japan that was compatible with my iPhone 4s. At that time I could see only nano sim cards. So I decided to buy a new iPhone in Japan at the Shibuya Apple Store which had friendly staff who were able to speak English, Japanese, and Chinese. If you are looking for new iPhone or any Apple products, I recommend you to buy any new devices at the Shibuya Apple Store!


1. Amazing applications are available to assist you

Yahoo! Application

Everyone may think about Yahoo as only e-mail, but Yahoo! Company has many other useful applications for smartphones than you may have considered. Here are some of my suggestions

1. Yahoo! 天気 (weather)

The weather forecast for the next week can be predicted. This application can help you decide on what to wear for the next few days, bring an umbrella, and what days you might want to get your laundry done because it also shows the tendency that your laundry will be dried! Before I leave my house, I usually check this application to make sure I’m prepared for the day’s weather.

2. Yahoo! 乗換案内 (train transfer information)

I used to introduce this application before in my last article. To explain briefly, all you have to do is select your current location and desired destination. This application will show you the time when the train will leave the station and arrive at your destination. It also shows the platform number you have to stand at! All you have to do is to look for the right platform number once you get to the train station and wait for the right train. It has three options to select which include the fastest, the least amounts of transfers, and the cheapest options.

3. Yahoo! ニュース (news)

Recently, I use this application to follow the news and what is going on in Japan because I have don’t have a TV at home. Not only that, but this app can supplement with learning proper Japanese! The short VDO news clips are inserted with news articles. You can quickly check national news in Japan and other countries as well!

4. Yahoo! カレンダー (calendar)

Yahoo! カレンダー will help you organize and arrange your schedule for each day. Different colors will help you prioritize your appointments and tasks for the day. Besides, this application has stamps (small pictures) which can be used as a sign for indicating certain appointments. Those little stamps are categorized into five groups; events, work, school, living, and notation. This function is useful because it helps you immediately know what category you have for the weekly view without having to read through the whole schedule. Furthermore, the weather forecast can show you the highest / lowest temperatures for each day.

Ta be ro gu (食べログ)

For foreigners who love searching for delicious restaurants in Japan, this application will help you find the best local and delicious restaurants as well as make a reservation with one form. Before using this application, however, you have to register for an account first. This application can check the restaurant’s necessary information including the price, location, menu, photos, and customer reviews. The updated version can be used with iOS 11.2. If you find a good restaurant you want to go to with your friends, you can quickly send them the page through Line and share with your friends.

Yu re ku ru (ゆれくるコール)

Earthquakes are quite frequent in Japan because Japan is located directly on a tectonic plate and is an island. This application will warn you when there are earthquakes nearby or if one is incoming. Although you may not use this application too often, it is a good idea to keep it on your phone just in case.

Point collection application

Many restaurants or shops in Japan allow you to collect points via their application on your phone. I have more than 10 point collection applications on my phone. Most applications are for restaurants and drug stores. It is much easier to download their application into your phone rather than carrying a ton of point stamp cards in your wallet.

2. iPhone VS Samsung

A lot of people in Japan used iPhones when smartphones first started getting popular in Japan. You can currently spot a full range of smartphone models in people’s hands on the train or the street as other companies have brought out their smartphones as the market grew. Even though Samsung, Sony, Huawei, and LG are the top rank smartphones in the world, the most popular smartphone in Japan is still iPhone.

The reason why Samsungs aren’t popular in Japan is partly that the Samsung company belongs to Korea. Korea companies are often in direct competition with Japanese technology companies. Japanese people have a sense of economic rivalry more than they do with United States brands like Apple. Thus, iPhones are the trendiest smartphone. I admit that Korea has some of the most impressive technology in Asia, however many customers in Japan do not know what they have because iPhone (Apple company) is already taken over the Japanese market. Apple is the huge company which frequently do the campaign and advertise their products in the urban area. When I first stepped into the department store, iPhone and other Apple products were the first things I saw. I could not find a Samsung product in the department store.

Furthermore, Apple company cut the price of iPhone XR in Japan! The iPhone XR start at 84,800+ yen for a minimal storage 64GB model and runs up to 101,800+ yen for the 256GB model.

3. Phones in Japan

Every phone from every brand which has been bought from Japan has a  loud shutter sound when you take a photo even if you turn the sound off. Japan has a rule that people are not allowed to take pictures of people without permission. Thus, secretly taking photos of others is a crime in Japan. What if you have to take pictures in a meeting or a classroom? (I usually took pictures of a whiteboard or slides in the lecture room.) It’s terrible manners if there is a sudden loud camera shutter during a lecture. There’s an application in iPhone which provides no camera sound to use in those situations such as 消音カメラ.