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RIM in trouble in Japan?

NTT DoCoMoDaniel Scuka over at Wireless-Watch has some pretty harsh criticisms of the potential for success in RIM’s upcoming launch of the BlackBerry in Japan through NTT DoCoMo. Scuka cites that fact that because such a high percentage of Japanese citizens already have handsets that provide push email, few enterprises will look to BlackBerry for their email needs. It’s a fairly valid point, but overlooks the fact that RIM’s excellent track record with security could be a deciding factor for a lot of companies over more feature-rich devices (as it is in North America and Europe).

However, a sharper criticism of RIM’s move into Japan can be found in their decision to not offer Japanese-language input when the devices are launched this fall, something Scuka questions like so:

How stupid it would be to launch a device in the US, or Canada (RIM’s home market), that couldn’t handle English input?

The article then switches to more of a conspiracy-themed vibe, with Scuka offering possible reasons for why DoCoMo would launch BlackBerry in Japan when he is sure they know it won’t succeed:

BlackBerry’s entry, with DoCoMo, can be dressed up in all sorts of ways but the fact is it is unlikely to be of any consequence, yet it will have to cost BlackBerry a huge amount of money and management attention to even be inconsequential. DoCoMo is most likely: playing a defensive move to keep BlackBerry away from the other carriers; and, hoping to attract roaming dollars from foreign execs with their CrackBerrys who need a roaming partner in Japan - roaming fees are a hard drug and that is what is in DoCoMo’s veins with this deal.

We knew RIM would have it tough launching BlackBerry in Asian markets, but if Scuka is right, RIM’s plan to increase BlackBerry’s presence through foreign markets could fall flat on its face. Post a comment and tell us what you think.

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3 Responses to “RIM in trouble in Japan?”

  1. Dan
    July 18th, 2006 01:49

    RIM seems to be working hard make itself irrelevant in CJK countries. Though that might just save them a lot of money in the long run if they’re not going to have local language input any time soon. I live in China, and if RIM doesn’t have chinese input soon, I will sigh and buy something windows based for my next device.

  2. BlackBerry Cool » RIM’s stock has leveled off
    July 18th, 2006 08:30

    […] Previously, we had told you that RIM’s stock might even out as investors stopped being excited by their earnings report and started asking “what’s next?” While we still think that’s a contributing factor, we also feel that market forces outside of RIM’s control (the escalating violence in the Middle East, and the market’s general disdain for tech stocks at the moment being two good examples) are doing their fair share as well. Whatever the case may be, we’re definitely sure that reports like the one that came out yesterday won’t endear investors to RIM any time soon. […]

  3. BlackBerry Cool » RIM+NTT DoCoMo=Namimail
    July 24th, 2006 09:46

    […] Recently, BlackBerry Cool has reported some concerns about RIM’s chances for success in Japan. One of the biggest complaints stemmed from the fact that RIM will not make any device or software redesigns to the BlackBerry to allow for Japanese character input, which seemed like a pretty big deal at the time. […]

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