updated 05:05 pm EST, Thu February 7, 2013
Company cites cost of OS modification as justification
BlackBerry will not launch the new BlackBerry 10 line of products in Japan, citing the cost of modifying its operating system to accommodate the Japanese language, Nikkei Business Daily has reported. Over the last two years, BlackBerry's market share has plummeted to 0.3 percent from five percent. Japan is nevertheless considered a major market, with 24 million smartphones in circulation in the country.
"Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry, and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time. However, we will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan," BlackBerry’s global corporate communications manager Nick Manning said.
Chief information officer Robin Bienfait reiterated RIM's commitment to building a fresh computing platform with the new BlackBerry 10 OS and handsets "from the ground up," and further claimed the mobile device is "approaching the functionality and power of a laptop."