Sales of Windows-based tablets in Japan have been rising as vendors have been aggressively releasing Windows 8.1-based 8-inch models since October 2013. In February 2014, 15.7% of Japan's tablet sales were contributed by Windows-based models, up significantly from a year ago and also larger than the Windows tablet's share of 2% in the worldwide tablet market, according to figures from Japan-based BCN.
With Windows tablets gaining market share, Japan's tablet market is expected to see a more balanced development, but competition between iOS, Android and Windows will remain keen in 2014, Digitimes Research believes.
In 2013, Apple still dominated Japan's tablet market, followed by Asustek Computer (Android). Microsoft, Amazon and Sony were the third to fifth largest vendors. While Amazon and Sony have been in Japan's tablet market for a while, Microsoft's surge to the third position shows that demand for its Surface tablets have been rising strong in Japan.
Microsoft's second-generation Surface tablets are enjoying strong sales in Japan, but four out of its nine versions (two for the consumer market and two for the enterprise market) have been suffering from shortages in the country due to the software giant's misjudgment on related demand.
The shortages also caused Microsoft to miss out on business opportunities from Japan's year-end shopping season in 2013.