BlackBerry: No plans to release new BB10 phones in Japan

Blackberry-Z10-reviewIt’s one of the biggest markets in the world for mobile phones but BlackBerry has decided not to launch its new BlackBerry 10 devices there.

While the BlackBerry brand doesn’t have much of a following in the country – its share of the mobile market currently stands at a measly 0.3 percent – the mobile maker clearly sees no value in investing in an advertising campaign in a bid to boost its profile in the Asian nation.

 “Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time,” BlackBerry spokesperson Amy McDowell confirmed in a statement, adding “However, we will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan.”

For Japanese consumers, the iPhone is currently one of the most popular smartphones, with data from research firm Kantar Worldpanel Comtech showing that Apple’s device accounted for 66 percent of all smartphone sales in the country in the final quarter of last year.

BlackBerry launched its new BlackBerry 10 platform at a special event in New York at the end of last month. The first BB10 handset to hit stores – or at least, stores in the UK and Canada – is the all-touchscreen Z10, with early reports suggesting strong consumer interest. The phone will arrive in the US some time next month once carrier testing is complete.

The Q10 device, which features a physical keyboard, is set to launch in a number of markets in April, though US consumers may not see it until the following month.

Once the leader in the smartphone market, BlackBerry has fallen behind in recent years with the iPhone and Android devices coming to dominate. At the least, the Canadian mobile maker is aiming to secure third place with its new platform, a goal which will involve doing battle with rival Microsoft and its Windows Phone platform, among others.

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