RIM CEO Thorsten Heins  (Source:
It will take place across all departments

BlackBerry is looking more and more like a sinking ship, and it will reportedly throw about 40 percent of its employees overboard before the end of the year.

According to The Wall Street Journal, BlackBerry is looking to cut its workforce across all departments, and it will likely happen in "waves."

As of March, BlackBerry had 12,700 employees. This was the last time it officially disclosed staff numbers, meaning that this upcoming wave of cuts will affect thousands of people.

This is a big fall, considering BlackBerry had over 17,000 employees in 2011. Last year, around 5,000 jobs were cut. The company then started smaller waves of staff cuts earlier this summer in the sales and R&D units, and axed more than half of its sales force last week. 

BlackBerry was once one of the top handset makers in the U.S., but has lost significant market share thanks to the rise in popularity of Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy devices. In 2011, BlackBerry had 14 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, and now, it has less than 3 percent.

To make matters worse, BlackBerry reported a loss of $84 million in the quarter that ended June 1, as well as a decrease of 4 million subscribers. The Canadian company expects another operating loss when it provides earnings figures next week. 

BlackBerry had hoped that the launch of its new BlackBerry 10 (BB10) operating system and line of devices earlier this year would help it regain some market share. However, both launch devices (the Z10 and Q10) have flopped

Earlier this month, the company's board of directors announced the formation of a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives to enhance the value and accelerate the development of BB10. The announcement came only a few days after a report surfaced that BlackBerry might go private in an attempt to fix its problems away from the public. 

Only days ago, Reuters reported that bidders for the sale of BlackBerry want only parts of the Canadian company instead of the whole thing. More specifically, they're interested in BlackBerry's operating system and the patents for its keyboard. This further shows that BlackBerry is in such a bad spot that bidders only want to pick it for its valuable parts rather than buy the whole thing and try to fix it. 

BlackBerry just today announced the specs for its new flagship phone -- the Z30 -- and hopes for a comeback with the new high-end BB10 smartphone. 

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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