Unilead News continues to explore mobile markets of business-wise attractive countries. Last time we covered Turkey, now it is time to delve into the specifics of Japan.

Japan is traditionally a very closed country that is hard to access for a foreigner, and the locals prefer to use domestic products, be it food, cars or mobile apps, especially mobile apps. This has to do with cultural aspects and language barrier. A foreign company is unlikely to deliver its values using the message they created for the western markets. These claims are supported by numbers: of the 100 apps in the Japanese top, only 16 were made by non-Japanese companies. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that the market is unattractive. First of all, it’s huge. There’s plenty of users beyond the first 100 apps. Second, the Japanese gamers are very loyal and pay well, which affects ARPU: it is one of the highest in the world.

Key takeaways:

  • Japan is one of the few countries with a higher iOS share than that of Android. This is due to how the Japanese consume content and play mobile games;
  • The userbase growth has stalled, but sessions length and frequency increases instead. The main driver here is 4G that is available virtually everywhere;
  • More than 50% of revenue in each app category is shared between the 10 most popular apps, which makes the competition much fiercer than usual;
  • Unlike many other countries, Google Play in Japan is just as profitable as App Store.

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