Xperia X10 Quickly Becomes NTT DoCoMo’s Top-Selling Smartphone


Let’s face it: no one was all the impressed with the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10. No multi-touch, Android 1.6, and interface issues all seemed to add up to an all around sad Android from SE. Then again, apparently no one in Japan reads Android blogs, as Barclay Capital is reporting that the X10 — known simply as the Xperia in the Land of the Rising Sun — has become the fastest selling smartphone on the Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo. The X10 racked up an impressive 120,000 handsets sold in the first three weeks after its April launch.


This sales rate topped an unspecified HTC Android phone that only moved 80,000 units in the 10 months since its launch on DoCoMo, and even bested the figures of the 32GB iPhone 3GS (though we will assume it didn’t quite overtake the combined sales with the 16GB model).

Regardless, the X10 is in high-demand, with its first few shipments selling out quickly and more on the way. Now just imagine if Sony Ericsson released a killer Android 2.1+ device in the Japanese market…sheer pandemonium!

[Xperia X10 Blog via AndroidGuys]

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  1. Seriously. Folks in Japan have the WEIRDEST preferences for technology. This thing sells like hotcakes with Android 1.6. The Wii sells like gangbusters compared to a PS3. Anything that looks remotely close to a Gundam sells out immediately. To top it off they have stand up arcades with a game that requires the player to insert a gigantic plastic index finger into an ass and they like horse racing games. Again. No shocker here at all.

  2. We have this phone in the middle east , and I don’t how this phone sells better than any other phone even though its on 1.6 and it doesn’t have neither the android market or arabic language support . I guess the reason is the sony ericsson trade mark .

  3. Well it is a beautiful phone… people who don’t know much about Android will pick it uip . … especially knowing that the trusty japanese company SONY is behind it…

    If the XPeria had the HTC DROID INCREDIBLE responsive multitouch screen .. it’ would be a serious contender even with 1.6

  4. What a lot of techies seem to forget is that it isn’t necessarily what’s best that will be a huge hit. One main reason why the x10/SO-01b sold so well is because it is a brand they know (SE) compared to an unknown one (HTC). Another reason that might be important is the fact that the x10 features a common resolution for Japanese phones (480×854) and it has a lanyard eyelet, which is very commonly used in Japan, at least in comparison to the west.

    There are probably more reasons, but I in general think that brand and camera might have been important factors. Also, the x10 have been very well received, both in terms of sales and reviews (especially more consumer-oriented ones).

  5. It’s no mystery, there were several factors at play.

    1- for the FIRST time, very catchy marketing on tv, reminiscent of the early ipod commercials that got everyone grooving to their own tunes. this kind of marketing had not been done for any of the other above-mentioned smartphones. Mediascape and Timescape were really pumped up in these commercials, too.

    Blackberries and all other smartphones at Docomo had previously been only marketed to a limited segment of the (business)population, already saturated with incredibly capable “dumbphones.” The XPERIA, however, has been advertised as an everyman’s smartphone, whether it really is or not.

    2- the name Sony attached to those commercials. regardless of their previous failings, Sony still carries weight here.

    3- Besides the gorgeous screen, it has a beautiful, different, non-generic, non-rounded , non-iphone-rip-off look. The HTC and Samsung phones I have seen these days all look like iphones. Actually I don’t know how much this matters. It mattered a bit to me. Anyway, the phone IS gorgeous.

    I have the phone in question and love it, 1.6/no multitouch and all. Like MANY other buyers here it’s my first smartphone so these 2 factors mean nothing to me. In fact for inexperienced users like me pretty much all complaints I have seen on tech blogs such as this one mean nothing to me. For me it’s a beautiful toy, a stepping stone into the world of smartphones.

    Considering these factors, it’s not really a mystery.

  6. Touchscreen is fine and display is impressive compared to 3GS and others. It’s better to type on than HTC Desire for me (I had a G1 so really tested if touch was good enough to replace a physical keyboard – Desire wasn’t). Interface is swish. Indications on SonyEricsson updates and service seem spot on. I’ve no need to rush to 2.1 as the phone works well and is fast. Having 1.6 is the key as this opens up apps like navigation and so on. Camera is ace – 720p video coming too! If you really understand what you want from a phone there could be no other choice…typing was the clincher for me.

  7. It is an amazing phone though but that is a lot for any phone to sell that much.

  8. I am not going to lie, this phone is beautiful. It does have really nice specs. Before I bought my Acer Liquid, this phone was the one I wanted. I heard about it randomly and immediately wanted it. Then I started researching it. This got me researching Android and helped me see how many great phones there are out there.

    Sony ericsson does make great phones. I used to have a couple. But they really dropped the ball on this one. By the time they upgrade out to Eclair, Froyo will be running strong and the talk will be about Gingerbread. Also lack of multi touch support is a big minus.

  9. I have lived in Japan for 11 years and i kinda know why they would prefer the x10. I think that japanese people think that touchscreens are new technology and are afraid that it is not as good as traditional cell phones. I don’t know but maybe that’s the reason why.

  10. they’re just being ignorantly patriotic! kinda like rednecks and the like only buy American built trucks ? :)))))

  11. Ppl i have been doin my research on android tech after i first heard about the x10, its a gud lukn phone however compared to the upcoming htc evo4g’s specs its outdated, SE will have to raise their game up, well thts according to me…

  12. The ‘unspecified’ phone they were selling was the HTC magic, and NTT’s principal competition, Softbank, started selling the HTC Desire last month. Last I heard, the Desire has a one month long waiting list.

    It also has to be said that even though the so called ‘smart phones’ are a new thing to the west, they’ve had their own versions of extensible phones for quite some time now. The difference is that Android and iPhone (also sold by Softbank in Japan) have standardized and ‘open’ operating graphical operating systems, whereas the Japanese variants tend to be text based and limited to a particular subset of a carrier’s phone lineup.

  13. I guess the editors of this website are not aware that only three Android phones are available in this country, two of those being through Docomo. The third is selling through Softbank, the same company selling the iPhone. Of course this is going to sell well, it’s a beast compared to the model they released last year (HTC Magic). I would have picked it up had I been looking for an Android phone this year instead of last. As one other poster noted as well, it’s flashy presentation is very similar to the iPhone, so I suspect it might just sell as well.

    However, many people outside this country are also not aware that regular cell phones here are actually often more innovative than smart phones, which is why Android style phones will have a hard time in the end I think. I personally have had all I can with the one I purchased, and will be returning to a standard phone next year when I am done paying it off.

  14. obviously sony is a very big name in Japan, probably as big as Apple(in Japan), and combine that with the google brand, and I guess people were curious to check it out. Also I feel it is a good phone, UI is pretty good, despite the lack of multi touch and I think it portends well for android. As I can see it, Android has been adopted by regional powerhouses like Samsung(strong brand in Korea), Sony(Japan) and Lenovo(China), people in those countries trust those companies a lot. Just like how Indians, Europeans,Asia pacific countries trust Nokia. And it is a very good sign that Android has been adopted by regional powerhouses. Now I only hope Nokia makes some Android phones and the victory of android will be complete

  15. Blah,!!Blah.!!!Blah.!!!!
    Release with 1.6 unknown when it will be updated
    to 2.1 and unknown when it will catch up to 2.2

  16. that was possible to the word “SONY” in the phone, and cause no other STRONG ANDROID was there, and maybe the publicity too.

    I dont think this phone is going to sell like that in no other country.

  17. I agree somewhat that brand is a factor here, but not Google’s. Google has no meaningful brand presence in Japan. The search/portal market there is dominated by Yahoo and local players.

    In fact, Docomo’s principal rival in the Android space, Softbank, is the parent company of Yahoo’s local ISP franchise, YahooBB.

  18. I bought this phone after owning G1 for a year, and while I have lot’s of respect for HTC (I owned their WinMo phone before), I’m telling you guys – this phone rocks. Its great specs, standout form-factor, fantastic phone operation quality are the attributes of a good smartphone. And genuine Android, with only colors changed, but none of that crap like MOTO Blur or HTS Sense. Android 2.x will be on it eventually, but the main factor is convenience! oh, did I mention that it can do everything Droid DOES ;)

  19. Great phone , but very poor audio quality.

  20. I have it myself and it rally is a great phone.
    Lack of multi touch doesen’t matter, the screen is big and the webbrowser great so you don’t even need to zoom anyway..
    Problem with HTC Desire its delivered with 100 mb for app storage, x10 with 1000 mb.

  21. You are missing the main reason it is selling. It is the ONLY smart phone in Japan that gets a mobile (…@docomo.jp or whatever) address. Most people set filtering to block mail from PCs, which also blocks mail from smartphones.

    Anyone who has used a smartphone in Japan is quick to point this out. More people use their phone for work related e-mail, and not having a mobile address make everything much more complicated.

  22. Reply to post 21:
    Actually, you get @moperau, @gmail, or both. @docomo addresses are a costly option.

  23. Even simpler, Sony is a Japanese company. The Japanese will support it to the hilt and possibly believe the phone is better than the HTC (which is not Japanese) as they rarely question info supplied to them by a trusted Japanese supplier – Docomo.
    I live in Japan and have done for many years.

  24. Re:Anchann, there is also the Sharp ISO1, available through AU.

  25. I live in Tokyo, Japan. I think the theory here is that if you look at the the phone as hardware only its a great phone, and they have announced that they will be making the upgrade to Android 2.1 in the 3rd quarter this year and the upgrade to 2.2 available in the 4th quarter. Even though its lagging behing in terms of software/ os I think people are buying the phone for the hardware and putting up with 1.6 until they can upgrade later this year.

  26. Also its probably the best looking smart phone in DoCoMo’s line up, and seeing as almost all of my friends and co workers that use softbank, au, etc. have problems with their network/ trouble getting reception.

  27. The phone was developed in Tokyo, Japan to large extent by japanese engineers.
    So no wonder if overall handling and features go well together with how a japanese person think and decide. And thus this phone might speak to japanese consumers in a way they understand and easily adopt. Also the DoCoMo connection helps.

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