Do you wish Japanese smartphones were more popular in the West?


Within our biweekly column on amazing tech from the far reaches of the globe, Monsters from Asia, one can most often find reps from China. Occasionally, however, we step on a new announcement from Japan, with often great devices being promised to locals, and so we feel compelled to highlight them.

Unlike Chinese devices, who are starting to propagate in the West, Japanese phones remain quite exotic, with the obvious exception of Sony. For the most part, local phones will be made available to the islanders of Japan, but that's about it. And since they're pretty expensive, online stores dedicated to them are pretty rare, and often under-stocked. 

The only exception so far is Sharp, which pushed the unique Aquos Crystal to Sprint's network in the US, though that's likely the byproduct of Sprint being owned by Japanese Softbank, which had exclusivity on the local flavor of the Crystal. So, again, Japanese devices are rare outside of... well, Japan, and we can't remember the last time we've spotted someone pocketing a Fujitsu.

Even a cursory glance through the list of devices we've previously highlighted, however, may convince you that Japan has got quite a few things down cold. For example, almost without exception, Japanese devices are dust-tight and water resistant, while packing some pretty large batteries. That right there are two quite practical features that we're seeing more and more demand for. For those and any other reasons, do you wish that Japanese smartphones were made more popular in the West? Why, precisely?

Don't just vote, discuss!

Do you wish Japanese smartphones were more popular in the West?

Absolutely!
79.87%
Meh! Won't say no to more variety, but probably wouldn't end up buying one...
14.7%
Nope. We have it good enough as it is.
5.43%

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43 Comments

41. Supersonic

Posts: 226; Member since: May 15, 2015

The only country in the world where IOS dominates the OS marketshare. Most of the Japanese use Iphone(god knows why). The Japanese themselves hardly use Sony Handset. I really pity them as they are not able to experience the latest technology in smartphone devices. When I was in Japan recently on a business meet, I took out my S6 edge and started charging it wirlessly, all the Japanese present in the meeting(all of them had Iphone) were swept off their feet. I just gave them my phone to feel. They were awestuck by the phones feel and display(till that time they were thinking there can not be anything better than iphone). Samsung is hardly sold in Japan as Japanese hate anything Korean. I told them to use the experience of Samsung or Sony handset and feel the difference. 80% of the guys agreed to do so. At least they realised what type of crap they have been using till now.

32. shinywindow unregistered

"I wish" or krapple loving iphonearena didn't suck azz so bad.

31. Heisenberg

Posts: 379; Member since: Feb 11, 2015

Japan is a strong ally of USA. An American can get away with virtually anything in Japan while it's not the same for Japanese in Japan. They fear America due to way happened back then hiroshima and nagasaki. Subsequently, they don't wanna accept Korea Is ahead of them in technology hence not into Korea products(Samsung and LG). They don't like the Koreans. When gang man style was watched all over the world and most expecially Asia countries, it didn't have any hit in Japan cos he is a Korean. So it's majorly political

30. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Nah...I don't think we need anymore. With have so much choice. I don't think Sharp and any other Japanese brand of phone or even a Chinese brand of phone would do well here. The problem is, we have brands that stand out already. Motorola is a cheap brand and they are having a hard time. Plus, with the offerings of phones form mostly carriers, they likely wouldn't even sell those. Those Japanese/Chinese options would land on something like Virgin, Boost or similar. But I don't see AT&T, T-Mobile or even Verizon and Sprint offering them at all. They all have to much money tied up in the iPhone and Samsung's offerings as well.

23. snowgator

Posts: 3629; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

We have decent options as far as devices here in the US. Our problem is carriers. If only we could get the devices we want on any carrier, we would be a wash in choice. How many Verizon or Sprint users would like the S6 Active? How many T-Mobile users want a Droid Maxx? As a WP user, oh the wish for the Nokia Icon or the Samsung ATIV SE on AT&T, while I knew a Big Red devotee that so wanted the Lumia 1020. We do not need Japan's phones- though I voted for the second option because I would like to see more choice. We need a death blow to exclusive phones.

20. Chiam

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 02, 2015

The Title of this Article is deceptive or wrong. The mentality of the Japanese is that they will always keep what is considered to be The Best within their domestic market JDM. Their Best is considered to be too good for foreigners. The JDM products are vast, ranging from the Best Watches (Grand Seiko, Citizen Chronomaster), cars, pens etcetera etcetera. It is not that we don't like them, how can a product be not popular when the Consumer does not even know of its existence ?

10. jauling

Posts: 82; Member since: Feb 13, 2015

anyone know where you can buy a Sharp Aquos Compact SH-02H, outside of Japan?

11. UglyFrank

Posts: 2200; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

You can get them in Napaj, Pajan and Panaj.

9. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

Japanese phone were popular, before they messing us. Karma the real justice. Japanese get what they deserve

13. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

nah only sony messed up. and sony is not completely japanese. fully japanese owned companies that manufacture smartphones actually produce better phones than sony does. they have the smallest bezels (sharp aquos), retina scanner (fujitsu) etc etc

16. dimas

Posts: 3461; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Japanese get what they deserve? On what, their grandfather's faults? f**k off with your racist comments. You and supernova should go back to your anger caves.

28. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

It's not racist but rather xenophobic. This is more than likely kamehameha's old account but yes very ignorant people overall. Go anime lol

27. Bernoulli

Posts: 4364; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

Even then we still favour Japan over China. #animeforlife

7. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

More choices the better.

25. TSMan2

Posts: 363; Member since: Aug 20, 2015

Of course. But I don't see the point here? The Japanese OEMs are not stupid. They have made their researches and know how much they could penetrate other markets. So if they see point and profit , they would start selling in other markets without this poll. Right?

5. Spedez

Posts: 542; Member since: Aug 29, 2014

No. Japan hated Nokia and the never got a foothold there. Imagine that. So inbred market. Japanese buy only Japanese stuff. It's like US but much worse.

15. Chris.P

Posts: 567; Member since: Jun 27, 2013

Actually, the Japanese favor the iPhone. Overwhelmingly so.

17. DRS1977

Posts: 681; Member since: May 27, 2015

The Japanese love to copy American culture, that is a fact. That is the only reason that the iPhone is popular there. That fad will fade away in due time.

22. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

Fandroids coming up with more stupid reasons why iPhone sales so good

36. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Not a fan of android but, he has a point, the Japanese DOES love copying american culture.

4. samgsam15

Posts: 51; Member since: May 09, 2014

I'm lucky to live in India since here we can have our hand on almost every phone. No carrier contracts to bind you. You get most of the brands: Indian, American, Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc. Also, a lot of people will happily buy a second hand phone at good price(specially an iPhone).

35. OneMinusOne

Posts: 3; Member since: May 11, 2015

ya..so lucky to have phones at nearly double the price of US.

43. samgsam15

Posts: 51; Member since: May 09, 2014

Only if you consider buying an iPhone. If you buy any other phone then the difference isn't too much. And if you are comparing the prices with US then don't forget to compare unlocked phone prices. The difference isn't much now.

3. dimas

Posts: 3461; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

US is the only country who's got limited access to different phone brands that's why apple is confident that people will buy them. Give US the ala carte and people will be happy that they have more choices than buying expensive flagships.

21. snowgator

Posts: 3629; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Sorry, that just ain't even close to true. Apple's ecosystem is expensive and their users are very invested in it. That keeps them coming back to the bitten fruit products. I can see Apple peaking, but there sales are likely to remain steady for the near future.

2. hanabi

Posts: 177; Member since: Oct 08, 2015

better than seeing chinese phones

6. HugoBarraCyanogenmod

Posts: 1412; Member since: Jul 06, 2014

You're just butthurt to see Chinese is superior than others. Fujitsu Sharp Toshiba are all the past, as well as their technology. yet overpriced. the design is also old and same old, stuck at the flip phone era. Japanese phones are past period

8. ajac09

Posts: 1482; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Chinese phones have done a 180 in quality. You can get a good LTE equiped phone from China now at half the price of samsung apple and lg.

14. pwnarena

Posts: 1129; Member since: Feb 15, 2013

i'd say 70 to 90 but not 180. even if they managed to create 180 quality, their bloatware are atrocious. they're also mired by spying tricks. but then again, all of these quality advancements are completely offset by china's ridiculous aggressive claims on the south china sea. i don't mean to make this a political issue but i just can't avoid it. china's being an ahole that i can't support their products.

29. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man...

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