We're pretty sure the executives at RIM
, er, BlackBerry
, have nothing personal against Japan. It's a fine country, and we're pretty sure the top brass there have given it a visit in recent years. But that said, Japanese citizens patiently awaiting BlackBerry 10 are going to have to swallow some bad news this week. Despite shipping in the company's native Canada, and promises to hit the U.S. market in a few months, BB10 won't ever make it onto Japanese shelves.
Here's the quote being given out by the company's spokespeople: "We are in the process of launching BlackBerry 10 globally in key markets and we are seeing positive demand for the BlackBerry Z10 in countries where it has already launched. 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."
While unfortunate, it makes sense. BlackBerry is not in a position to burn cash in risky markets. To date, BlackBerry's share of the smartphone market in Japan is well under 1%, so there's little chance that BB10 would escalate that. The company has chosen not to spend loads of cash preparing BB10 for the Japanese language and market, and we have to wonder what other "minor" markets will get nixed as the rollout continues.