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

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.

The Verge
Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Verge username and password

As part of the new Verge launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Verge going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.



Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.