TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Pricier and bigger new iPhone models made their market debut in Japan on Friday, with the country's three leading mobile carriers starting sales of the XS Max and the XS that have faster processors and feature better battery life and improved camera functions.
Although it has been 10 years since iPhone hit Japan, the high-tech smartphone launch days continue to see long lines formed by eager buyers at retail outlets from early morning.
The XS Max with a 6.5-inch screen, the largest display ever in an iPhone, and the XS with a 5.8-inch screen, both of which have a high-end organic light-emitting diode display, will retail for 124,800 yen ($1,120) and 112,800 yen, respectively.
The more affordable XR with a 6.1-inch liquid crystal display, which will be available in six colors including blue and yellow, will cost 84,800 yen and go on sale on Oct. 26.
The iPhone is the dominant smartphone in Japan, enjoying roughly a 50 percent market share in the country, one of the biggest in the world.
Domestic manufacturers, such as NEC Corp. and Panasonic Corp., found it increasingly difficult to keep up with the global giant and were forced to withdraw from the smartphone market, as their products, while boasting high performance, paled in comparison to iPhone sets in terms of design and ease of use.
The two premium models will be available in stores on Friday in more than 30 markets including Australia, China, Japan and the United States.