iPhone sales down in Japan, but Apple remains the top phone vendor

Cell phone shipments in Japan fell 1.9% year-over-year to 7.23 million units in the second quarter of 2015 (April to June), according to a study by IDC Japan. However, Apple remains the top seller of phones in the country.

The decrease (as noted by BrightWire.com, a global investment newswire) was attributed to feature phones. Smartphone shipments rose 23.6% year-over-year to 6.08 million, and accounted for 84% of the total.

Apple's share of the shipments fell six percentage points to 32.9%, but remains the top-selling brand. Sharp was second with a 14% share. Kyocera had a 10.5% share and Samsung had a 10.1% share.

IDC Japan predicts that current feature phone users may again purchase the new generation of feature phones before 2017. The research group says that vendors need to "greatly" reduce service fees to attract users to switch to smartphones.