Mobile device sales in Japan are expected to have grown 7.1% to reach 55.9 million units in 2013.
IDC predicts that the market - comprised of PCs, smartphones, tablets, and data communication products such as mobile cards and personal routers - will continue to grow over the next five years, reaching 63.3 million units in 2017.
Expansion will be largely driven by smartphones and tablets, which are expected to reach 37.5 million and 10.1 million units, respectively, in 2017.
“Looking forward, the smartphone market will show another surge in the short-term, led by NTT DoCoMo's decision to launch the iPhone 5S/5C aggressively from the third quarter,” said Michito Kimura, senior market analyst at IDC Japan.
“The tablet market will continue to experience double-digit growth and will establish another shipment record in 2013 with a cheerful combination of sales increases for both low-price tablets and high-end ones, such as ‘iPad Air’,” said Kimura.
In the third quarter this year, the total shipment of domestic mobile devices fell 4.8% year-over-year to 12.97 million units.
Smartphone shipments experienced a sudden slowdown, dropping 13.7% to 6.9 million units. This was mainly due to a sales slump in Android-powered smartphones.
In contrast, tablets recorded another healthy quarter, growing 63.9% to 1.8 million units. Sales of low-price tablets and 4G tablets to both consumer and commercial markets, helped by huge sales subsidy by operators, kept demand stable throughout the quarter.