Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) … er, BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) is trying to build some momentum after releasing is brand new BlackBerry 10 operating system in its Z10 smartphone last week in the United Kingdom and just the other day in its native Canada. But with U.S. release not due until for at least a month (with T-Mobile USA reportedly the closest to launch), BlackBerry is trying to keep itself relevant and viable in the smartphone discussion until results in the U.S. establish a verdict.
However, another strong smartphone market is apparently not on the launch list for Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) – er, BlackBerry. The company is announcing that while it will release its Z10 in several countries over the next few weeks, Japan is apprently not one of them.
Part of the reason for the company’s reticence to go into Japan with its new smartphone is because its market share in Japan has dropped to a paltry 0.3 percent after being as high as 5 percent. With that, the company has decided that it would be too costly to create its BB10 OS in Japanese for the market. “Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time,” Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) … er, BlackBerry Ltd. said in a statement. “However, we will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan.”
Not putting resources in a strong and growing smartphone market is actually be viewed as a good thing for some. “This is a wise move by BlackBerry to deploy its resources where it’ll generate the greatest returns,” said IDC analyst Kevin Restivo. “The Japanese smartphone market is dominated by Android-powered and iOS devices.” Recent data from Japan suggests that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android devices make up more than 83 percent of the marketplace there.
The Z10 is due to launch in France and the United Arab Emirates next week.
What do you think? Is skipping Japan a good idea? Will Research in Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:BBRY) … er, BlackBerry Ltd. still have positive momentum by the time the Z10 launches in the U.S.? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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