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BlackBerry won't sell Z10 phone in Japan

Feb. 8, 2013 at 12:30 AM   |   Comments

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WATERLOO, Ontario, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- BlackBerry will not sell its new Z10 smartphone in Japan, the company said after a newspaper said the maker would leave the market partly due to the language.

"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," BlackBerry Ltd. said in a statement cited by the Engadget technology blog.

"Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time," BlackBerry's statement said. "However, we will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan."

Daily business newspaper Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun reported the Canadian telecommunications and wireless equipment giant would stop offering smartphones in the Japanese market in part because it couldn't justify the cost of modifying the new proprietary BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system for the Japanese language.

BlackBerry's statement didn't address this.

Nikkei said BlackBerry's Japanese market share dropped from 5 percent to 0.3 percent.

BlackBerry Ltd. was called Research in Motion Ltd. until Jan. 30 when it announced the name change during the unveiling of the new BlackBerry 10 operating system and two new smartphones based on the platform.

The two phones are the touch-screen-based Z10 and the Q10, which retains BlackBerry's distinctive QWERTY keyboard.

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