TORONTO — BlackBerry says while it has plans to launch its new smartphones in several countries, Japan won’t be one of them.
The company, which formerly called itself Research In Motion, said that a global rollout of the touchscreen and keypad versions of its devices in key markets will not extend to the region.
“Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time,” the company said. “However, we will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan.”
A report from business publication Nikkei suggested BlackBerry decided against a Japanese phone because it would be too costly to modify the language of the new operating system. But a source familiar with the phone’s debut said the choice did not rest on costs associated specifically with the language settings.
The launch of a new phone is costly, especially when it comes to marketing the device against the more dominant competition.
In Japan, the market share of the BlackBerry has plummeted in recent years to levels that would make it difficult to sell a new device and operating system without it already having a strong reputation in other markets.
BlackBerry smartphones represented 0.2 per cent of the Japanese smartphone market in the first three quarters of 2012, according to research group IDC.
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