Japan Does The Shuffle: iPod Tops in Japan Too

by: Steven Towns

Over the weekend Barry Ritholtz posted a short piece on Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) showing how dominant the iPod is in Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) sales, using the latter's hourly top seller ranking feature. I did the same search for Japan, and although the iPod doesn't control as much of the top-10 or top-25, it is the top player nonetheless.

As of 8am EST Monday morning, Apple had five of the top-10 spots in Amazon Japan's best seller ranking for portable digital audio players. At #1 it had the iPod shuffle and it also took spots 5 --> 8 with 30GB iPods and the 2GB nano. The only other iPod to make the list was the 4GB nano at #19.

Unlike in the U.S. Amazon ranking, Apple does face competition from a number of firms including South Korea's iriver by Reigncom Ltd., Toshiba (OTCPK:TOSBF), Creative (OTCPK:CREAF) and AVC Technology Japan. Reigncom's iriver players took #2, 3, 16, 24 and 25. Toshiba had #11, 12 and 18. Creative had #15 and 21. AVC Tech had #4, 20 and 23.

Note SanDisk (SNDK) only had one placing at #10 and there was a similar lack of presence for Sony (NYSE:SNE), with only one ranking at #22.


Separately, BCN, a Japanese consumer electronics research firm reported last week that Apple's iPods commanded all ten of the top-10 sales ranking for the week ended Nov. 12th (latest published). The 1GB shuffle took 12.5% of sales and various versions of the nano accounted for nearly 30% of the market. Combined, iPod's top-10 performance accounted for 48.9% of sales for that 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.