BlackBerry sees red in Japan, ends sales

Feb 09, 2013, 03:50 IST | Agencies

Handset maker says Japan is not a major market, decides not to launch new devices there

As BlackBerry rolls deeper into the smartphone world with the launch of BlackBerry 10, it looks like some countries will be left off of the map. The device maker confirmed yesterday that it has no plans to launch any BlackBerry 10 smartphones in Japan.

The recently launched BlackBerry 10 won’t be sold in Japan. File pic

“We are in the process of launching BlackBerry 10 globally in key markets and we are seeing positive demand for the BlackBerry Z10 in countries where it has already launched,” a BlackBerry spokesperson said. “Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry, and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 smartphones there at this time.”

Although Japan is a major consumer of smartphones, BlackBerry devices are not among the country’s favourites. According to research firm ComScore, Android took 64 per cent of Japan’s smartphone market share and Apple’s iOS grabbed a 32 per cent share in August. That left Microsoft’s Windows Phone in third place with 3 per cent, and BlackBerry OS and Nokia’s Symbian combined eked out less than half a percentage point. It’s unclear if BlackBerry will forgo selling its smartphones in other countries also.

Despite the company’s decision not to launch BlackBerry 10 in Japan, its spokesperson did say, “We will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan.” The company, which changed its name from Research In Motion following the launch of the line last week, is attempting to win back consumers with its new touch-screen device dubbed the Z10 and a model called the Q10, with a more traditional keyboard. The Z10 has already gone on sale in the United Kingdom and Canada, and is expected to go on sale in the US in mid-March. 

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