Apple iPhone takes the top spot in Japan last year for the first time ever
exceeded 50% for the first time. Chinese manufacturer Huawei saw its market share triple. Previously, it was hard for a foreign handset to crack the market. But with carriers like KDDI and Softbank heavily spending to promote the Apple iPhone 5, local manufacturers like Sharp and Fujitsu each had to accept a reduced 14% of the market.
The Japanese market used to consist of advanced featurephones running carrier designed OS or a proprietary OS designed by the handset manufacturer. But with the popularity of Android, foreign names like Samsung, LG, Huawei and ZTE have an advantage in producing Android flavored models that the Japanese firms don't have (outside of Sony, which is more of a global player). But for 2012, it was iOS, specifically the Apple iPhone, that ended Sharp's six consecutive years on top of the Japanese smartphone market.
source: CounterpointResearch via AppleInsider