iPhone nabs 46 percent of Japanese smartphone market, the tiny Japanese smartphone market

So you read a headline like "iPhone grabs 46 percent of the Japanese smartphone market" and the first thing you're likely to think is, "wow, Apple is really doing well for itself." Well, it is and it isn't. While it has made some considerable gains in the smartphone market at the expense of phones like Sharp's W-ZERO3 and the Willcom 03, it still hasn't gained nearly the same total mindshare or market share that it has over here. That's because "smartphones" as we know them are still a relatively small market in Japan, where carriers' lineups consist of a whole range of offerings including everything from mobile TV-equipped phones to true camera phones to perfume holders. For a bit more context, check out the pie chart after the break courtesy of IDC Japan, which shows cellphone vendors' market share in Japan as of October of this year. The leaders by a wide margin are Sharp, Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC with a combined 72.8% of the market, while Apple is lumped in with "Others," which add up to 22.6%. It's making inroads, to be sure, but just that at the moment.