BlackBerry shoots the Messenger… cuts 4,500 jobsSeptember 23 - 8am
BlackBerry will cut up to 4,500 jobs as it stares a US$960m loss square in the face.
The struggling smartphone maker, forever battling to stay afloat, announced the measures after a string of new devices failed to capture the public’s imagination.
In what is being labelled as a dark day for the Canadian firm, BlackBerry is also targeting an approximate 50% reduction in operating expenditures by the end of the first quarter of Fiscal 2015.
As part of this, BlackBerry will implement a workforce reduction of approximately 4,500 positions or approximately 40% of the company’s global workforce resulting in a total workforce of approximately 7,000 full-time global employees.
“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,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO, BlackBerry.
“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 puts us squarely on target with the customers that helped build BlackBerry into the leading brand today for enterprise security, manageability and reliability.”
BlackBerry’s failure make the new BlackBerry 10 smartphones popular has left many customers concerned, with Morgan Stanley allegedly holding off on upgrading to the new platform until the company’s future is secured.
After officially placing itself up for sale last month, the second quarter results have alerted a string of potential buyers after analysts claimed the business has “sailed off a cliff.”
Citing a sale as “the only real alternative at this point”, many believe the company could be worth as much as $5bn, taking into consideration company patents, software and cash reserves.
iOS and Android stall…
It doesn’t rain it pours at Blackberry, with the company revealing that the rollout of its BlackBerry Messenger instant chat software on iOS 7 and Android has stalled, leaving only New Zealanders with the new iOS 7 version.
“Prior to launching BBM for Android, an unreleased version of the BBM for Android app was posted online,” BlackBerry says.
“The interest and enthusiasm we have seen already – more than 1.1 million active users in the first 8 hours without even launching the official Android app – is incredible.
“Consequently, this unreleased version caused issues, which we have attempted to address throughout the day.
“Our teams continue to work around the clock to bring BBM to Android and iPhone, but only when it’s ready and we know it will live up to your expectations of BBM.
“We are pausing the global roll-out of BBM for Android and iPhone. Customers who have already downloaded BBM for iPhone will be able to continue to use BBM.”
BlackBerry claims the unreleased Android app will be disabled, and customers who downloaded it should visit www.BBM.com to register for updates on official BBM for Android availability.