And just a few years ago we were questioning whether or not smartphones would be a success in Japan. Well, the iPhone is spreading rapidly throughout the country now that its biggest provider has decided to support the phone, and further information shows that Japan has just overtaken America as the biggest spender on apps.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Japanese smartphone and tablet owners have spent as much as 10 percent more on apps when compared to their American counterparts, citing unreleased date from App Annie as a source.
It goes without saying that gaming apps make up the largest number of these purchases. Not only do major Japanese publishers, like Square Enix, charge an arm and a leg for their games, but Japan has made a total shift to mobile gaming, seemingly leaving the console market behind them. You can't commute to Osaka or Himeji without seeing a train full of workers hammering away at whatever the most recent popular game is.
Further, in-app purchases are also big with Japanese apps, with text messaging service LINE being the biggest and most obvious example. Frequent release of stickers and new games with pay-to-play models are in no short supply through the long arm of Naver.