Feb 8 BlackBerry said on
Thursday it has no immediate plans to offer its BlackBerry 10
line in Japan; 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 company, which changed its name from Research In Motion
following the launch of the line last week, is attempting to win
back consumers with its new touch-screen device dubbed the Z10
and a model called the Q10, with a more traditional keyboard.
Its shares surged nearly 6 percent on Thursday, on reports
that the Z10 was enjoying strong sales in the markets where it
is already available.
The models, powered by its new BlackBerry 10 operating
system, are considered the company's best hope of reviving its
tarnished image as a smartphone innovator.
The Z10 has already gone on sale in the United Kingdom and
Canada, and is expected to go on sale in the United States in
mid-March. The Q10 is expected to go on sale globally in April.
Japan's Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday that the
company however, plans to stop selling its older smartphones in
Japan due to poor sales.
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 said it plans to continue to provide support for
Blackberry customers in Japan and confirmed that it will have
Japanese language support on its new operating system in the
BlackBerry's market share in Japan has shrunk to 0.3 percent
from 5 percent, according to the Nikkei report.
While BlackBerry has done well in developing markets, it has
hemorrhaged customers in developed markets such as Japan and the
United States. Its fourth-quarter North American market share
fell to 2 percent from more than 40 percent three years ago.
The company hopes that its new devices will help it claw
back market share lost in recent years to rivals such as Apple
Inc and Samsung Electronics.
BlackBerry shares ended the day up 5.7 percent at $16.96 on
the Nasdaq, while its Toronto-listed shares rose 5.8 percent to
close at C$16.91.