BlackBerry executives have opted against launching two new smartphone models in Japan, in blunt acknowledgement that competitor Apple is beating them on sales and grabbing up market shares.
The Canada-based company had been regarding its BlackBerry 10 series as a saving grace for its lagging smartphone division. But BlackBerry’s share in Japan’s phone market has dropped from 5 percent to 0.3 percent over an unspecified period of time, according to an Agence France-Presse report. And company executives have decided it’s just too expensive to create a Japanese-language operating system to support its new smartphone line, AFP continues.
BlackBerry has taken several steps to ward off competition from Apple and Android-based phones in the past few months, even changing its corporate name from Research in Motion, or RIM, to BlackBerry in a rebranding move made official last week.
A company spokeswoman confirmed to Wall Street Journal that the company was pulling its new BlackBerry models from Japan — but also hinted that a future entry to that market was a possibility, AFP reported.
“We are in the process of launching BlackBerry 10 globally in key markets and we are seeing positive demand … 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,” said spokeswoman Amy McDowell, in an AFP report.