There are several reasons for Apple’s success. First of all, the Leopard was brand new and definitely had some hype to pull its sales up. As for Vista, the OS has been on the market for some time and its adoption rate was bound to drop.
Furthermore, there’s a matter of price. The Leopard retails in the Land of the Rising Sun for $134, definitely more appealing that what Microsoft charges for its Vista, starting with $179 for the upgrade-only Home Premium and ending with $276 for the full version.
Last but not least, let’s not forget the obvious: Windows Vista is just not that appealing. Many PC users would need a new machine in order to run the OS with all the new features enabled, which means spending more money. It’s hard to believe that they would go for it, in a country where overall PC sales are going everywhere but up.
No doubt that this initial boost will die down in the near future, as the Apple fan base in Japan is not that large. Still, Leopard had a good debut overseas and you can bet that Jobs will tell that to his audience during the next financial meeting.