When it comes to smartphones in Japan, the market has changed drastically in the last year. Approximately one year ago, Wired wrote that the Japanese hated the iPhone. Three months later, a survey showed that the iPhone was the top selling smartphone in Japan. And in December 2009, a report from Impress indicated that the iPhone had a 46.1% market share in the Land of the Rising Sun.

Now, the iPhone is not only big in Japan, it’s dominating the market with a 72% share. According to BusinessWeek, Apple’s iPhone shipments to Japan more than doubled in the past year, climbing to a total of 2.3 million units sold.

However, analysts predict that Apple will have a hard time continuing that domination in the near future. Analyst Calvin Huang from Daiwa Securities Group claims that “this year will be much more competitive.” Apple’s biggest competitors in Japan are HTC, which holds 11% of the smartphone market share, and Toshiba with a 6.8% market share.

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Tags: iphone, japan