The numbers are out. According to the database of Telecommunications Carriers Association, a total of 5,600,400 mobile phones were sold here in Japan in the past year 2007. Japan’s mobile war among the 3 main giant companies was heated up after the “Mobile Number Portability (MNP)” system was introduced in October, 2006. Softbank’s marketing strategies, among the few are the commercial ads which involved Hollywood top stars Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz, low price plans namely White Plans and also free talk hours between Softbank mobiles, were quite effective in winning hearts of users but they were just one step behind, taking the 2nd place after KDDI au, with a total sales of 2,115,800 phones.
KDDI au showed a steady growth, catchy in its original way turned out top with a total sales of 2,329,400 phones. What’s surprising is that NTT DoCoMo for the first time in history, turned out 3rd with a total sales of 949,300 phones. DoCoMo impressed users with their brand strategy “DoCoMo 2.0” with impressive phones and ads involving local big stars but they were a bit slow in their actions. Moreover, they were mimicking others and taking actions only after others moved and I guess that’s the reason to why they were not able to catch up with the rest in the market last year.
By the way, I am a KDDI au user myself and at the moment, I have no plans to switch to a different company though there are some tempting points about the other 2 companies. We’ll see.