According to market survey, Apple has a slightly bigger market share for iPhone in Japan than it does in the US, as the WSJ reports:

Even before that, the iPhone was Japan’s best-selling smartphone, with a 37% market share in the six months ended Sept. 30, according to Tokyo’s MM Research Institute. That’s comparable to the iPhone’s 36% share in the U.S. in the third quarter, according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

The market share in Japan is also expected to grow a bit due to the fact that carrier NTT DoCoMo started offering the iPhone for the first time in late September.

Why this craze for iPhone, you may ask?

The iPhone has propelled Apple’s success in Japan, supported by heavy marketing and rich subsidies from telephone companies. The iPhone’s cachet taps Japan’s fervor for brand-name goods, similar to how Japanese shoppers once flocked to Louis Vuitton bags and Burberry scarves.

“Apple’s brand is just overwhelming here,” said Eiji Mori, a Tokyo-based analyst at BCN Inc. “It’s not about specifications. It’s not about rationale. It’s about owning an iPhone.”

It’s about owning an iPhone indeed. The power of branding.

Read the full story on the WSJ.