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games Japan Market Entry mobile

Google Play apps Japan: which android apps show highest revenues?

Top grossing apps (Feb. 18, 2015)

Google play apps Japan ranking in Japan by gross revenues

AppAnnie showed that in terms of combined iOS AppStore + Google play apps Japan revenues, Japan is No. 1 globally, spending more than the USA. Therefore Japan is naturally the No. 1 target globally for many mobile game companies!

Android Google Play – Japan “Top Grossing” apps ranking of February 18, 2015:

Note that the Android/Google Play ranking shown here is very similar to the iOS top grossing ranking.

  • No. 1 Puzzle & Dragons by GungHo
  • No. 2 Monster strike (by Mixi)
  • No. 3 白猫プロジェクト (= white cat project) (by Colopl Inc.)
  • No. 4 クイズRPG 魔法使いと黒猫のウィズ (= Quiz RPG (role playing game) The World of Mystic Wiz, the which and the black cat wiz) (by Colopl Inc.)
  • No. 5 LINE Disney tsumu tsumu (by LINE Corporation) (ツムツム = Tsum Tsum)
  • No. 6 LINE PokoPoko (by LINE Corporation)
  • No. 7 Dragon Quest Monsters Superlight (by Square Enix)
  • No. 8 LINE (by LINE Corporation)
  • No. 9 Final Fantasy Record Keeper (by DeNA Ltd)
  • No. 10 LINE Rangers (by LINE Corporation)
  • No. 11 Love life! School Idol Festival (by KLab Inc.)
  • No. 12 Logres of Swords and Sorcery – popular online RPG (by Marvelous Inc.)
  • No. 13 Runaway lives motorcycle Tiger (by Donuts Co Ltd)
  • No. 14 Clash of Clans (by Supercell)
  • No. 15 Chain chronicle – real scenario RPG (ChainChro = チェンクロ) (by SEGA Corporation)
  • No. 16 Actual powerful pro-baseball (実況パワフルプロ野球) (by KONAMI)
  • No. 17 Schoolgirl strikers (by Square Enix)
  • No. 18 Puyo puyo!! Quest (by Sega Corporation)
  • No. 19 LINE POP2 (by LINE Corporation)
  • No. 20 Granblue Fantasy (by Cygames Inc)
  • No. 21 Drift Spirits (by Bandai Namco Games Inc)
  • No. 22 Pro baseball Pride 2014 (by Colopl Inc.)
  • No. 23 Sengoku Enbu – KIZNA – (by Sumzap Inc)
  • No. 24 Dragon poker (by Asobism Co Ltd)
  • No. 25 Gandam Conquest (by Bandai Namco Games Inc)

Japan’s iconic game companies created many game categories – this tradition carries over to mobile gaming now.

Copyright 2015 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
games mobile

Japan apps: which are the top grossing apps in Japan’s iPhone app store?

Top grossing app ranking (Feb. 10, 2015)

by Gerhard Fasol

AppAnnie showed that in terms of combined iOS AppStore + Google Play revenues, Japan is No. 1 globally, spending more than the USA. Therefore Japan is naturally the No. 1 target globally for many mobile game companies, and quite a few of the top grossing apps in Japan are of foreign origin – can you guess which?!

iOS AppStore-Japan “Top Grossing” ranking of February 10, 2015:

Note that the iOS ranking shown here is very similar to the Android / Google Play top grossing ranking.

  • No. 1 Monster strike (by Mixi) from rank 2 on July 13, 2014
  • No. 2 Puzzle & Dragons by GungHo (from rank 1 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 3 白猫プロジェクト (= white cat project) (by Colopl Inc.)
  • No. 4 Dragon Quest Monsters Superlight (by Square Enix) (from Rank 12 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 5 LINE Disney tsumu tsumu (by LINE Corporation) (ツムツム = Tsum Tsum) (from Rank 3 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 6 Final Fantasy Record Keeper (by DeNA Ltd)
  • No. 7 LINE (by LINE Corporation)
  • No. 8 Love life! School Idol Festival (by KLab Inc.) (was rank 9 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 9 LINE PokoPoko (by LINE Corporation)
  • No. 10 Logres of Swords and Sorcery – popular online RPG (by Marvelous Inc.) (was rank 14 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 11 Clash of Clans (by Supercell) (was rank 5 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 12 Runaway lives motorcycle Tiger (by Donuts Co Ltd)
  • No. 13 Drift Spirits (by Bandai Namco Games Inc)
  • No. 14 Actual powerful pro-baseball (実況パワフルプロ野球) (by KONAMI)
  • No. 15 Sengoku Enbu – KIZNA – (by Sumzap Inc) (was rank 8 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 16 Sword Art Online Code Resister (by Bandai Namco Games Inc)
  • No. 17 Chain chronicle – real scenario RPG (ChainChro = チェンクロ) (by SEGA Corporation)
  • No. 18 Schoolgirl strikers (by Square Enix)
  • No. 19 Summons Board (by GungHo Online Entertainment)
  • No. 20 Puyo puyo!! Quest (by Sega Corporation) (was rank 11 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 21 Granblue Fantasy (by Cygames Inc)
  • No. 22 LINE Manga – daily reload of popular manga free of charge (by LINE Corporation)
  • No. 23 Brave frontier (by Alim Co Ltd) (was rank 4 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 24 Dragon poker (by Asobism Co Ltd) (was rank 6 on July 13, 2014)
  • No. 25 LINE POP2 (by LINE Corporation)

Japan’s iconic game companies created many game categories – this tradition carries over to mobile gaming now.

Copyright 2015 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
Japan Market Entry M&A mobile

Vodafone Japan could have been a business worth US$ 50 billion today! Why did Vodafone Japan fail and sell to SoftBank?

What can we learn from Vodafone’s failure in Japan?

by Gerhard Fasol

Had Vodafone been successful in Japan, Vodafone’s Japan business could be worth € 40 billion (US$ 50 billion) today

In a separate blog post “EU-Japan Management: What is the value of good management?” we analyze what the value of Vodafone’s Japan business might be today, had Vodafone succeeded in Japan, based on current market values of the comparable companies NTT-Docomo, KDDI and Softbank, and we conclude that it is not unreasonable to assume that Vodafone’s Japan business could be worth € 40 billion (US$ 50 billion) today, had it been successful.

Vodafone Japan? Why did it fail and sell to SoftBank? – Quick answer

Vodafone Japan failed not for one single reason but for hundreds of reasons, which can be grouped into soft factors (mainly lack of understanding Japan and Japan’s telecom markets and it’s true size) and hard factors (mainly far too low investment) – read more details in our SoftBank-report:

  1. Soft factors:
    • Japan knowledge at HQ, and knowledge at HQ about the specifics of Japan’s telecom sector (or lack thereof).
    • choice of management structure (there were attempts to correct the management structure, however too little and too late).
    • attitude displayed both privately e.g. within the Japanese industry sector and publicly via marketing messages and advertising
    • choice of executives and lower ranking managers and their knowledge and experience in Japan’s telecom sector (or lack thereof)
    • lack of sufficient know-how and experience to manage a large Japanese company, and particular the chain of retail stores
    • lack of management and execution know-how in Japan: tried three (3!!) times to introduce / roll-out 3G services in Japan, and failed every time to attract sufficient subscribers. As a result Vodafone Japan was far behind in 3G introduction. Only after sale to SoftBank, did SoftBank succeed in implementing the transition to 3G
    • too high expectations for profitability and margins from HQ, which were out of line with profitability and returns usual in Japan, and out of line of competitor’s margins
    • and many more
  2. Hard factors:
    • far too low budgets for infrastructure investment resulting in much lower coverage and network quality compared to competitors NTT-DoCoMo and KDDI/au and TuKa, Willcom and others. As a consequence of far too low investment budgets, Vodafone failed three times to introduce 3G services in Japan. (3G services were not successfully introduced until after the acquisition by Softbank, and after conversion of Vodafone KK to Softbank-Mobile).
    • mobile phone handsets were inferior to the handsets offered by competitors NTT-DoCoMo and KDDI, and TuKa
    • and many more

Vodafone Japan? Why did it fail and sell to SoftBank? – Detailed answer

Find a long answer in this blog post below, in our other blog posts, and in some detail including statistics and financial data in our Softbank Report.

On Friday March 17, 2006, Vodafone and Softbank announced that Vodafone sells Vodafone KK (the totality of all Vodafone operations in Japan) to Softbank.

It has been reported that on Monday March 20, 2006, Softbank started to move all Vodafone KK staff, furniture and equipment from Vodafone KK’s former headquarters in the top floors of the Atago-Greenhills-Mori-Tower to Softbank headquarters in Shiodome (near Shinbashi). Also Softbank arranged very quickly that essentially all foreign expatriate managers left Vodafone KK – some stayed in Japan working for other IT companies, some returned to European Vodafone divisions, and some pursued telecom careers in USA, India, Bangladesh, or elsewhere.

By total coincidence, I had dinner with a high-level manager of Vodafone KK, of European nationality, at the indian restaurant Moti’s in Tokyo-Roppongi on exactly the same day, the Friday March 17, 2006 a few hours after the sale of Vodafone KK to Softbank was announced.
I asked him: “Which of the following is true:”

  1. Vodafone never did any market research in Japan?
  2. Vodafone did market research in Japan, but the quality was low?
  3. Vodafone did market research in Japan, but nobody read it?

This Vodafone KK (Vodafone Japan) manager’s answer at the indian dinner was (3): market research was done about Japan’s mobile phone market, but the market research was not sufficiently taken into account in the business and strategy planning.

Fact is, that Vodafone KK (Vodafone Japan) took many major strategy and market decisions in Japan, which were not related to the realities of Japan’s market. Here one example. When “rebranding” (=changing the company / product / services names) from J-Phone to Vodafone, this “rebranding” campaign was centered on global roaming, i.e. Vodafone enabled Japanese customers to use Japanese J-Phone/Vodafone mobile phones in a very large number of countries outside Japan as well as inside Japan. This was at a time, when Japan’s mainstream mobile 2G phone system which both DoCoMo and J-Phone used was PDC, while much of the rest of the world, especially Europe used GSM. However, what Vodafone overlooked was, that at that time DoCoMo had about 30,000 roaming customers, out of approx. 50 million subscribers, i.e. only about 0.1% of Japanese mobile phone users used international roaming at that time. Thus Vodafone KK in Japan focused their main nation-wide poster and TV and other media campaign on about 0.1% of the Japanese market (and about 0.02% of Vodafone KK’s accessible market, given Vodafone KK’s approx. 20% market share) – less than a niche. (The reason we know how many roaming customers DoCoMo had at that time, is because one of Vodafone KK’s competitors in Japan engaged our company Eurotechnology Japan KK to analyze Japan’s roaming market, and help our client to develop strategy to better compete with Vodafone KK’s roaming products, which were aggressively marketed, and the core of Vodafone KK’s marketing focus).

Another example was Vodafone KK’s strategic focus on Japan’s prepaid market (find detailed statistics and market shares and analysis of Japan’s prepaid market in our JCOMM report). In 2006 there were about 2.6 million prepaid mobile phone customers in Japan, i.e. about 2.7% of the market, while DoCoMo had about 45,200 prepaid subscribers, i.e. about 0.09% of DoCoMo’s subscribers were prepaid customers. Since the prepaid market in Europe (especially Italy where about 1/2 of the market is prepaid) is extremely important and highly profitable, Vodafone decided on the strategy to focus strongly on the development and growth of Japan’s prepaid market. Almost at the same time however, a national campaign started in Japan linking unregistered and illegally traded prepaid mobile phones to crime, and a law was proposed in Japan’s parliament to outlaw any type of prepaid mobile phones. Thus Vodafone KK found itself on the one hand promoting and investing to develop prepaid mobile phone services in Japan, developing, purchasing (as was the business model in Japan at that time) and bringing to market special prepaid handsets, and organizing national media campaigns promoting Vodafone prepaid mobile phones, while at the same time on the other hand facing the possibility that Japan’s parliament would outlaw these same prepaid mobile phones, and a broad press and TV national discussion on how prepaid mobile phones are linked to crime. The end result was, that instead of outlawing prepaid mobile phones, it was decided to introduce far stricter registration requirements and ID requirements for mobile phones and especially for prepaid mobile phones, and the unauthorized/unregistered sale or transfer of prepaid mobile phones in Japan was made a crime. The end effect for Vodafone of course was a commercial failure of Vodafone’s prepaid mobile phone campaign, in addition to a general decrease of ARPU (average revenue per user).

Instead of focusing on its core business in Japan, Vodafone KK focused management resources, and other resources to try to influence political decisions concerning 2.7% of the market: Japan’s minute and decreasing prepaid market.

Vodafone had many other management issues in Japan, which included recruitment and personality and retain issues of top executives, many kinds of HR issues, management issues at the retail stores, handset planning issues, branding and brand management issues, localization issues and much more.

As a consequence of these and other factors, Vodafone KK’s market share continuously decreased, subscribers moved from Vodafone KK to DoCoMo and KDDI/au, and the financial performance of Vodafone KK deteriorated, in the end convincing Vodafone that the best option was to sell Vodafone’s Japan operations and terminate business activities in Japan.

You can find further details and statistics, financial performance and market share data during this period in our Softbank report and in our JCOMM report.

Copyright 2014 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
mobile

NOKIA quits Japan – for now…

NOKIA’s Japan subsidiary was founded on April 3, 1989 – almost 20 years ago. On November 27, 2008 NOKIA announced to terminate selling mobile phones to Japan’s mobile operators, effectively withdrawing from Japan (except for purchasing, R&D and VERTU).

NOKIA’s sales figures in Japan were a well kept secret until last week when several Japanese newspapers wrote that NOKIA sold 200,000 phones during FY 2007: thus NOKIA’s market share was 0.39% – after 20 years of market entry efforts.

Considering the disastrous collapse of mobile phone handset sales in Japan, NOKIA’s move to quit sales in Japan actually makes a lot of sense. Nothing prevents NOKIA from re-entering Japan again in the future.

Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved

Categories
mobile telecommunications

Help – my mobile phone does not work! – Why Japan’s mobile phone sector is so different from Europe’s

Presentation at the Lunch meeting of the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Japan (FCCJ) on March 16, 2007 at the Westin Hotel, Tokyo.

Find the summary and photos of the meeting here

Download the presentation here

From the Announcement:

In his presentation, Dr. Fasol will explain the essentials of Japan’s mobile phone market, why and how it is so different to Europe’s. He will also talk about some of the reasons why it is so difficult for European companies to succeed and uncover opportunities and the keys to success for European companies in this important market.

More in our report about Japan’s telecom sector.

Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved