Apple has become the first smartphone brand in a decade to cross the 30 percent mark in market share for mobile phone sales in Japan, according to Counterpoint Research.

The company accounted for a record 34 percent in market share in September.  It is worth noting that even domestic brand Sharp, which ruled the Japanese mobile phone market for almost five years, only reached a 26 percent share at its peak.

Counterpoint Research Apple 34 Percent Share in Japan in Sep 2013 New iPhones help Apple claim a record 34% share of smartphone sales in Japan

Counterpoint director Neil Shah attributed the jump to Apple’s deal with leading carrier NTT Docomo, which is the largest mobile operator in Japan with a customer base of 60 million mobile subscribers. This is the first time since the iPhone launched in Japan in 2008 that is available to NTT Docomo users.

With foreign brands now controlling over half of the market share from less than a fifth of the market three years ago, domestic brands like Sharp and Sony have to fight harder to compete on equal footing.

Apple Captures Record 34 Percent of Japan Mobile Phone Sales in September [Counterpoint Research]

Thumbnail image via Klaus / Flickr