Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) continues marching into Japan, and you can't help but hear the faint tune of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" in its wake. The iPad just launched in the country to much fanfare and staggeringly long lines. It's a familiar story: With each subsequent product release, the press frets that Japan will reject Apple because it's a foreign company, and each time, Apple hits a home run.

The story of Apple and Japan makes for good reading. Japan has long been home to some of the finest consumer gadget manufacturers, so the speed and utter dominance of Apple's products in the country is truly stunning. First, Apple brashly unthroned Sony's (NYSE: SNE) venerable Walkman in short order. Years later, the iPhone hit the shores and was immediately left DOA, with Wired running a story last February titled, "Why The Japanese Hate the iPhone." Japan must have a hell of a love/hate relationship, because as of last month, the iPhone had an astounding 72% smartphone market share in the country, according to research firm MM Research Institute.

For comparison, in NPD Group's latest U.S. survey, the iPhone had a 21% share of the U.S. market. Oh those Japanese, they hate American consumer electronics!

The point of all this: Ignore any stories of Japanese consumers shifting to like nondomestic gadgets as some kind of cultural shift. The real storyline here is how tenuous technological investing can be. Starting with the iPod, Japanese companies were unable to realize the power of building a platform around mobile gadgets. iTunes was the special sauce that Japanese firms couldn't replicate. With smartphones, that platform was extended into an entire ecosystem of applications. For companies like Sony that were used to differentiating on hardware, that was a difficult concept to grasp, and one that's now coming too late.

So, competitors of the exclusive iPhone and iPad carrier Softbank, like NTT DoCoMo (NYSE: DCM), will now have to increasingly rely on another American smartphone platform, Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android, to fight off the threat from Apple. Looks like another American brand might be gunning for its own "I'm huge in Japan" moniker. Ah, the sands of technology investing, how fast you shift!

Eric Bleeker does not own shares of any companies mentioned. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.