As reported last week on TechBeat, Research In Motion (RIM) confirmed Blackberry’s new smart phones won’t be launching in Japan. They can’t justify the cost of modifying its software for the Japanese market. The cost of translating the operating system into the local Japanese language is too high. Given their declining market share, it is a risk which is best avoided. A spokeswoman for BlackBerry said, “Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry, and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time.
The company’s move suggests that it sees little chance of Japan emerging as a major market for its new devices at this time. The new Z10 and Q10 models equipped with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system are considered the company’s best hope of revival in a market dominated by android smart phones. Although the launch in Canada and UK has seen strong sales, it seems unlikely that that they will make a foray into the Japanese market anytime soon.
The news was reported by Japan’s Nikkei business daily who also claimed that BlackBerry’s market share in Japan has shrunk to 0.3 percent from 5 percent. New innovative devices such as the iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy have completely taken over the smart phone market in recent years.
The recent decline in Blackberry’s market share is not just limited to a single market. Its fourth-quarter North American market share fell to 2 percent from more than 40 percent three years ago. However, on the positive side the report also indicated that BlackBerry will continue to offer support to existing users in the Japanese market and will have Japanese language support on its new operating system in the future.
Blackberry has pinned its hopes on these new models and will be hoping to claw back some of its lost market share over the previous years. It is unlikely that they will be able to affect Apple and Samsung’s market share, but the new smart phones are a start of a long journey.
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