Global Media Intelligence 2019: Japan

Key Features

Most patterns of device ownership and usage in Japan are age-dependent.

  • Smartphones were slow to achieve very high usage in Japan, largely due to two factors: the early introduction and broad adoption of multifunctional feature phones and the older skew of the population.
  • In H1 2018, about 6 percentage points separated the ownership rates for smartphones and PCs in Japan. By H1 2019, however, that gap had widened to more than 10 percentage points: 86.2% of internet users ages 16 to 64 owned a smartphone, compared with 75.6% who had a desktop or laptop.
  • PC ownership is increasingly concentrated among older users. More than eight in 10 of respondents ages 45 to 64 owned a desktop/laptop, vs. fewer than 63% of 16- to 24-year-olds. The opposite was true for smartphone owners: Penetration for the youngest group stood at 98.1%, compared with 76.5% of those 55 to 64. Affluents in general were more likely to own either device.
  • Tablet ownership was also highest among respondents in the most affluent households, at more than 35%. But as this figure suggests, tablets have never really caught on with a significant proportion of internet users in Japan. Overall penetration was just 28.1% this year.


Karin von Abrams


Joanne DiCamillo
Kathleen Hamblin
Chart Editorial Manager
Dana Hill
Director of Production
Erika Huber
Copy Editor
Stephanie Meyer
Senior Production Artist
Heather Price
Deputy Editor
Hilary Rengert
VP, Research Strategy
Amanda Silvestri
Senior Copy Editor