The data comes from a report issued by MM Research, translated by Macotakara on Thursday, which shows that Apple represented 30 percent of smartphone sales in Japan. Among all cell phones, including "feature" phones," Apple took 17 percent of the market.
Though Apple was the leading hardware vendor, Google's Android was the most popular mobile operating system platform among smartphones sold in Japan in 2011. Google's Android represented 69 percent, meaning that together, Google and Apple controlled a whopping 99 percent of smartphone sales by platform in Japan.
The latest numbers suggest that Apple's share of the smartphone market in Japan has grown since the end of 2011, when the company held a 26.6 percent share of the market. Apple's position in the country was dramatically boosted by the launch of the iPhone 4S.
iPhone sales may have received a boost locally after the release of iOS 5.1 in March. That software update brought Japanese-language support to Siri, Apple's personal assistant application available only on the iPhone 4S.
Japan has become an increasingly important part of Apple's business in recent years. During the company's quarterly earnings conference call in January, executives at Apple singled out Japan as having the largest overseas growth of any market during the holiday 2011 quarter. During that span, sales in Japan were up 148 percent.
A study released in March revealed that Apple is considered to be the top consumer brand in Japan. Apple beat out 999 other brands to take top honors in the Brand Japan 2012 survey conducted by Nikkei BP Consulting Inc.