The 'Shuffle' Continues: iPod Rules in Japan

by: Steven Towns

The Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPod is extending its dominance of's (Japan) top-seller ranking. Compared to last week it now has two more top-10 placements, now totaling 7, and has four more spots in the top-25. The shuffle continues to be the most popular player.

As of 8am JST Monday morning, Apple had seven of the top-10 spots in Amazon Japan's best seller ranking for portable digital audio players (compared to 5 at the end of last weekend). At #1 again was the iPod shuffle and iPods also took spots #2 (2GB nano), 3 (30GB), 5 (30GB), 6 (8GB nano), 9 (4GB nano), 10 (licensed 30GB), 13, 21, and 23 --> 25; compared to 5 --> 8 and 19 last weekend.

Apple's competition includes South Korea's iriver by Reigncom Ltd., Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSBF), Creative (OTCPK:CREAF) and AVC Technology Japan. Reigncom's iriver players took #16 and 20 (vs #2, 3, 16, 24 and 25 last weekend). Toshiba had #4, 8 and 12 (vs 11, 12 and 18). Creative had #7 and 17 (vs 15 and 21). AVC Tech had #11 and 18 (vs 4, 20 and 23).

SanDisk (SNDK) still had only one placing, at #14 (512MB) (vs #10 last weekend) and there was more lack of presence for Sony (NYSE:SNE), with only two placements, at #15 (4GB Walkman) and 22 (1GB Walkman) (vs 22).


Japanese consumer electronics research firm BCN once again reported that Apple's iPods commanded all ten of the top-10 sales ranking, for the week ended Nov. 19th (latest published). The 1GB shuffle took the number one spot again, but lost 1% of market share at 11.5% of sales, and various versions of the nano accounted for about 27% of the market (compared to nearly 30% for the week ending 11/12). Combined, iPod's top-10 performance accounted for 47.7% (vs 48.9% for the week-ended 11/12) of sales for that week. Unchanged from last week, at the current foreign exchange rate, Apple charges about $5 more per shuffle sold in Japan than it does in the U.S.

Disclosure: The author does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.