RIM in trouble in Japan?
Daniel 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.