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Olympus, Sharp, Canon, and Apple still on top in Japanese market share rankings

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japan 1020
japan 1020

Another year has passed, and once again research firm BCN is releasing its annual awards, celebrating the three manufacturers with the biggest shares in the Japanese domestic electronics market across a huge range of categories, from headphones to hard drive enclosures. The data comes from a list of 22 online and physical retailers, but notable exceptions like Apple's retail operations mean that readers should be skeptical of BCN's findings in markets like PCs and tablets. But even by BCN's methodology, Apple still maintained the top spot in smartphones, ahead of rivals Sharp and Sony.

All three of the top mirrorless manufacturers lost share

So with that out of the way, what’s changed in the past year? Canon managed to gain more share in the DSLR segment at Nikon’s expense, growing from 46 to 53 percent of the market. And Olympus is still the top mirrorless camera maker, having conquered 30 percent of the market, ahead of rivals Panasonic and Sony. Interestingly, all three of the top manufacturers lost share — they went from controlling 93.2 percent of the market between them, down to 73.2 percent.

The change is mostly explained by the rising popularity of Nikon's 1 Series cameras; according to BCN, Nikon's J1 was the top-selling mirrorless body in the country this year, with 11.2 percent of unit sales. That dynamism was missing from the peripherals market — local mainstays like Buffalo, Elecom, and I-O Data continued to dominate a swath of categories ranging from routers and thumb drives to keyboards and headsets. And as for why the top TV makers in Japan are Sharp, Toshiba, and Panasonic rather than Samsung? The Korean maker had a tough time gaining traction in the already saturated market, closing up shop in 2007, although recent reports say it might be staging a comeback.