BlackBerry to pull out of Japan over low market share and translation cost

With the BlackBerry Z10 smashing records for the company in both the UK and Canada, BlackBerry reportedly plans to stop selling handsets in Japan. 

According to Nikkei business daily, BlackBerry can't justify launching its BlackBerry 10 operating system in Japan because of concerns over cost. The mobile OS was first launched in the UK and Canada this month.

Given that the company's market share has dropped from 5 per cent to 0.3 per cent, the price of translating its latest operating system to Japanese isn't worth the cost, according to the report.

If Japanese users want to choose BlackBerry they'll have to go with the older BlackBerry 7 OS, which the company reportedly still has plans to support in the country.  

According to a statement released by BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins this week, the BlackBerry Z10 launch is going better than expected.

“In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone. In fact, it was more than 50 per cent better than any other launch day in our history in Canada,” Heins announced on Wednesday.

“In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone.”

Update: A BlackBerry spokesperson reached out to us with a statement: 

“BlackBerry enjoys a constructive relationship with trusted partner, NTT DOCOMO, and we will continue to support the carrier’s ongoing BlackBerry sales in Japan. We have not announced plans to launch BlackBerry 10 in Japan, but this 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.”  



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