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Global Media Intelligence 2021: Japan

Noteworthy in 2021

By global standards, penetration of most digital devices and behaviors remains surprisingly low in Japan.

  • Smartphone ownership among Japan’s internet users ages 16 to 64 has finally surpassed 90%, per polling in H1 2021. During the same period, feature phone penetration dropped to single figures for the first time (8.0%). Because advanced feature phones were introduced to the Japanese market more than a decade ago, it’s taken a fairly long period for smartphones to win over older people, in particular.
  • Desktop/laptop ownership also rose between H1 2020 and H1 2021 but remains concentrated among males, older individuals, and the affluent. More than 80% of males owned a desktop/laptop this year, for example, versus 71.9% of females.
  • Tablet ownership was greatest in the most affluent households, at 37.4%, but lagged behind many other advanced economies, at just 29.6% of the online population in H1 2021.
  • Smart TV ownership was extraordinarily low at 9.0%, and the share of internet users who owned a smart home product, such as a web-enabled security system, rose only modestly, to 4.3%. Penetration of smartwatches and smart wristbands also inched up year over year (YoY) but remained minimal by global standards, at 6.2% and 2.3%, respectively. As in prior years, takeup of all these devices was greater in higher-income homes, but even there interest appeared very limited.


Karin von Abrams


Anam Baig
Senior Editor
Joanne DiCamillo
Magenta Fox
Senior Chart Editor
Donte Gibson
Chart Editor
Kathleen Hamblin
Chart Editorial Manager
Dana Hill
Director of Production
Erika Huber
Copy Editor
Hilary Rengert
VP, Research Strategy
Amanda Silvestri
Senior Copy Editor
Ali Young
Research Editor
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