The company, which is being soundly beaten by iPhone maker Apple, will not sell its two long-awaited BlackBerry 10 handsets in Japan in the market.

BlackBerry had pinned its hopes on the BlackBerry 10 to help it rehabilitate itself after a disastrous few years, which have been blighted by service blackouts in Europe and falling sales worlwide. Apple and other rivals like Samsung have consistently outflanked the Canadian company, which last week changed its name from Research In Motion.

According to The Nikkei, BlackBerry used to have around 5pc of the Japanese market for smartphones, but that figure has slumped to 0.3pc. In the six months to September last year, the number of smartphones sold in Japan grew 40pc to around 14m, but BlackBerry sold fewer than 100,000.

A BlackBerry spokesman said it would continue to support Japanese customers on its network, adding that the country did not rank as a “major market”. The company thought it would cost too much money to develop a Japanese-language operating system for the Japanese market.

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