OTTAWA -- The smartphone maker BlackBerry confirmed Friday that it has no immediate plans to sell its new handsets in Japan, but the company denied it was abandoning one of the world's most tech-savvy nations.

Having fallen far behind Apple IW (500/9) and lost ground to other smartphone makers such as Samsung (IW 1000/15), BlackBerry last week launched two new devices -- the Q10 and the Z10 -- in a very public bid to revive its fortunes and gain market share.

The Canadian company also changed its name from Research in Motion (RIM) (IW 1000/240), to the simpler BlackBerry as part of a relaunch that included the unveiling of a new operating system.

A spokesman at the company's head office in Waterloo, Ontario, however, said Japanese customers would not be able to buy the new handsets, but insisted that the decision did not amount to a snub.

It "does not affect our key priorities in the market: to continue to provide BlackBerry service and robust support to BlackBerry's Japanese customers, both consumers and business users," the spokesman said.

"BlackBerry enjoys a constructive relationship with trusted partner, NTT DoCoMo, and we will continue to support the carrier's ongoing BlackBerry sales in Japan."

The Nikkei business daily had earlier reported that BlackBerry would not be selling the new handsets in Japan.