BlackBerry Doesn’t Plan to Release New Smartphones in Japan

BlackBerry, which is rolling out its BlackBerry 10 lineup over the coming months, won’t be releasing the flagship Z10 phone in Japan, where the company doesn’t have much of a fan base.

“Japan is not a major market for BlackBerry and we have no plans to launch BlackBerry 10 devices there at this time,” Amy McDowell, a spokeswoman for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company, said today in an e-mail. “However, we will continue to support BlackBerry customers in Japan.”

The move means BlackBerry won’t be competing in the future in one of the world’s largest markets for phones. An estimated 15 million mobile devices were sold in the country last quarter, including smartphones, portable computers and tablets, according to IDC. The Z10 is currently available in the U.K. and Canada, with plans to release it in the U.S. next month.

Nikkei previously reported on BlackBerry’s plan to stop offering new phones in the country, saying the company’s local market share had shrunk to 0.3 percent.