Animoca Data: Top Android devices in the US & Japan (Oct 2013)
Samsung dominates the Android landscape in the US and most other markets, but based on Animoca data for October 2013, Samsung’s hegemony in Japan has been disrupted by Sony; Japan’s native son has valiantly clawed back market share from the Korean titan. Read on for the full perspective.
When we looked at our US data in November 2012, Samsung reigned supreme, with the Samsung Galaxy SIII and SII taking the #1 and #2 spots, respectively. In the world’s biggest economy, Samsung flagship devices were followed by the LG Motion, Droid Razr and HTC EVO 4G. US data we analyzed March 2013 suggested little change, with the SIII and SII maintaining their dominant positions.
Fast-forward to today, and Samsung’s dominance in the US has only increased. The Galaxy SIII has maintained its position at the top of the US chart. The S4, released in March 2013, has taken over the #2 position from the aging SII, which is now #3 (despite being a twice-superseded device, the SII still manages to outnumber handsets from any other single manufacturer). The HTC Evo 4G has fallen a few ranks but hangs on in 10th place.
Top Android phones in the US (Animoca network, October 15, 2013)
We find it interesting that Sony, one of the major smartphone manufacturers and a company that knows how to make good devices at various price points, didn’t have a single entry in our US Top 10 list. We decided to look at the data for Japan, which is one of the “big three” Android markets, boasting among the highest Google Play revenues and highest percentage of money spent on mobile apps. The results were most illuminating.
Top Android phones in Japan (Animoca network, October 15, 2013)
Of special note is the Samsung Galaxy S II, which sits in a strong third place on the US chart but is tied for #8 in Japan.The Sony Xperia A, a high-end device launched in May of this year, rocketed to the top position and bumped the Samsung S III to second place, which saw its market share reduced by half a percent. And although the S III and S4 currently hold the #2 and #3 positions, respectively, Sony has a firm command of #4 and #5 positions with no fewer than four devices (#5 is a three-way Sony tie). There are two more Samsung devices in the list at #7 and #8, which is then rounded off by another Sony at #10, for a total of six Sony devices – of which all but one are in the top five.In stark contrast to the US, the Japanese market lacks a single dominant handset and is virtually overrun by Sony devices (again, keep in mind this is one of the most important Android markets). When we last analyzed data for Japan back in March 2013, there were only two Sony devices in the top 10, and the top spot was held by the Samsung Galaxy S III. Things have changed quite a bit.
If we add up the Animoca Top 10 in Japan then and now this is what we see:
It looks like Sony doubled its domestic market share in a little over two quarters – an impressive performance in the age of Samsung. The Korean behemoth also saw a respectable overall increase in its Japan market share, but wasn’t able to keep up with Sony's charge.
With the exception of Samsung, all the other Top 10 phones we noted in our data were from Japanese manufacturers, suggesting Japanese consumers tend to prefer Japanese hardware.
The fact that Sony products are selling well at home but enjoy lackadaisical support from American consumers did not surprise us given CEO Kazuo Hirai’s recent comments about Sony’s focus: "It's not realistic to try to do everything at once. In the US we'll start gradually,” he told reporters earlier this month.
Japan and Europe currently make up 60% of Sony’s smartphone sales, and Hirai has said that’s where Sony will focus efforts in order to expand its market share in the near future. This fits in with the company’s strategy to become the third largest smartphone maker in the world. If its recent success in Japan is any indicator, Sony is off to a good start - not many can say they took on Samsung and won.