CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry revealed plans to axe 40 percent of its workforce on Friday, revealing it expects to lose almost $1bn in its fiscal second quarter.
Blackberry said it plans to lay off 4,500 employees to cut costs by 50 percent, as the firm admitted it expects to see losses of close to $1bn for its fiscal second quarter. The firm said it expects to lose between $955m and $995m, and expects revenue to come in at $1.3bn, less than half of the $3.1bn Blackberry managed to rake in during the prior quarter.
Blackberry will announce its fiscal second quarter earnings on 27 September.
In the not so surprising announcement, Blackberry also revealed that it plans to step back from the consumer market. Its debut Blackberry 10 (BB10) smartphones, the Blackberry Z10 and Blackberry Q10, have seen little success, with the firm's huge second quarterly loss attributable to poor sales, with the firm mainly still shifting its last generation Blackberry 7 smartphones.
Blackberry has been steadily losing market share to Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system too, which has clawed its way to number three in the UK smartphone market. In June, analysts at IDC reported that Windows Phone had an 8.4 percent slice of the UK market, while Blackberry trailed with 5.6 percent - down from 13.4 percent last year.
The firm said it will offer just four smartphones going forward - two high-end and two low-end - down from the six it presently offers, and said it will focus on the professional "prosumer" market. Blackberry also said it will reprice the Blackberry Z10 for an "entry-level" audience, as it is likely to be succeeded by the top-end Blackberry Z30.
Thorsten Heins, CEO and president of Blackberry said in a statement, "We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes announced today to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability.
"Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user."
This follows Blackberry's announcement last month that it would consider a possible sale. Speculation has it that Blackberry co-founder Mike Lazaridis might consider buying the company. µ
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