BlackBerry confirmed that their new smartphones will not be sold in Japan, justifying previous reports about the company’s hesitation to compete in a market that is currently being dominated by Apple.
The Nikkei business daily first reported the development, which was later confirmed by the Canada-based company, which is hoping to regain their lost glory with their newly-launched devices that are powered by their new BlackBerry 10 platform.
A BlackBerry spokesman said on Friday that the company decided to pull out of the Japanese market. The spokesman clarified that new devices will not be available in Japan, but the company will continue to provide support to their current customers in the country.
The spokesman said: “It does not affect our key priorities in the market: to continue to provide BlackBerry service and robust support to BlackBerry’s Japanese customers, both consumers and business users. BlackBerry enjoys a constructive relationship with trusted partner, NTT DoCoMo, and we will continue to support the carrier’s ongoing BlackBerry sales in Japan.”
The Wall Street Journal also confirmed the reports about BlackBerry’s pull out, citing a spokeswoman from the company’s headquarters in Ontario, Canada.
BlackBerry spokeswoman Amy McDowell was quoted as saying: “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. Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time.”
The company, which changed its name from Research In Motion to BlackBerry during the BB10 launch last week in New York, refused to talk about their reported reluctance to compete with leading smartphone makers in the Japanese market.
BlackBerry reiterated that the main reason why they decided not to sell their new devices in Japan is the expensive cost of developing a Japanese-language operating system.