RIM to offer BlackBerry in Japan
Research In Motion (RIM) will soon be offering a Japanese-language version of its popular BlackBerry handheld. The announcement came as part of a press conference in Tokyo. During the press conference, the company’s President and Co-CEO, Mike Lazaridis, said a BlackBerry solution capable of supporting the entry of Japanese fonts is expected to be available by the first half of next year. NOTE: No Japanese language text input! See here and here for more details.
There seems to be some confusion about the kanji character input potential for the Japan device on roll-out. As WWJ posted this Q&A in July it does appear there is a specific product (Via DoCoMo U.S.) that will enable users to enter Japanese (also available in Chinese and Korean) characters when composing e-mail on their Blackberry device.
We also noted this interesting tidbit from UnStrung; NTT Docomo said it has taken 1400 pre-orders for the Japanese BlackBerry — most of them from foreign multinationals. Expat workers, however, would constitute a niche market at best: There are probably a total of around 30,000 English-language expatriates currently working in Japan.