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BlackBerry to discontinue phone sales in Japan

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BlackBerry, formerly known as Research In Motion, announced that they will discontinue sales of all BlackBerry mobile handsets in Japan. The reason for the discontinuation is that BlackBerry’s market share has shrunk from 5% to a mere 0.3%.

BlackBerry unveiled their new BlackBerry Z10 and BlackBerry Q10 smartphones (image: Charlie Fripp)

BlackBerry’s latest operating system, BlackBerry 10, launched across the world on 30 January, but the Eastern country will not be seeing any BlackBerry 10 models any time soon as they cannot justify the cost of making the necessary language changes that go with BB10.

“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,” the company said in a statement.

But BlackBerry customers in the country will still be able to get support from the company, as they have not pulled out of the country entirely. “However, we will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan.”

The news comes just after a report by Canalys revealed that Android smart phones accounted for 34% and iOS phones 11% of all phone shipments in last year’s fourth quarter. The research firm also revealed  that South Korea’s “Samsung had a very strong quarter, growing 78%, while the Chinese vendors Huawei, ZTE, Lenovo and Yulong all grew by triple-digit percentages.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer tech editor

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