BlackBerry readies for Japan debut

RIM is gearing up for the big BlackBerry launch in Japan set for--today. And, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, most Japanese mobile users are either unfamiliar with the handset or unimpressed. The handset that launched mobile email has heretofore spread to Europe, Canada, India and even China--but until now Japan had been left untapped. NTT DoCoMo signed on to provide service for the BlackBerry 8707h, which boasts email-reading in both English and Japanese as well as other Latin alphabet-based languages. The offering seems to appeal most to expatriates looking to keep up with the Jones' back home in the States.

Despite being notoriously tech-savvy, Japanese businesses have yet to offer services that sync up their work email with devices such as BlackBerrys. Also, most Japanese don't take their work home with them, they'd rather stay late at the office and finish up. Perhaps the advent of the BlackBerry will bring cultural changes?

For more on the BlackBerry's Japan debut:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)