Japanese consumers have been known to be very loyal to its own local brands when it comes to electronics, but an international company has succeeded in taking a crack in this very difficult market.

A report from IDC Japan declared that the iPhone is the top-selling handset of any kind in Japan. The launch of iPhone 4S soared the Cupertino-based company into a 26.6-percent market share of all cellphone shipments in Japan last fall. Yes, the iPhone has even outsold clamshell feature phones that have been a staple in Japan despite the early rise of the iPhone and Android.

The FujitsuToshiba alliance is at second place with 18.3 percent, bolstered by the launch of its Arrows smartphones. The pie chart is then shared by Sharp (15.7 percent), Kyocera (9.8), and Panasonic (8.8).

On the full 2011 stats, meanwhile, Sharp remained the dominant smartphone brand with 20.1 percent, followed by Fujitsu-Toshiba at 18.8 percent. Apple is at third with 14.2 percent, eclipsing Panasonic (10) Kyocera (9.7).

This milestone is a significant success to the iPhone even without having to inject Japanese-specific features like 1Seg TV tuning, FeliCa NFC payments, and the wireless battery charging.

Source: The Mainichi Daily News, via Electronista

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