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The bad news keeps streaming in for BlackBerry

The Wall Street Journal reported this week that BlackBerry was on the verge of slashing 40 percent of its workforce. Today, that news has come to fruition as the company announced that it would lay off 4,500 employees. This will leave BlackBerry with 7,000 employees worldwide.
In addition, the Canadian-based company announced some rather disastrous financials as well. We have been reported for quite some time that sales of BB10-based devices (Z10, Q10) have flopped since their introduction earlier this year. But now we know the full extent of the damage -- BlackBerry is taking a non-cash, pre-tax charge of $930 to $960 million primarily due to unsold Z10 smartphones. That figure ranks right up there with Microsoft's nearly $1B charge for its Surface tablets.
When the dust settles on fiscal Q2 2014, BlackBerry is expecting a GAAP net operating loss of $950 to $995 million.

BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins [Image Source: The Star]
"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 BlackBerry President and CEO Thorsten Heins. 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 will also transition away from producing consumer-centric smartphones and will instead focus on what it calls "enterprise and prosumer-centric" devices. Its smartphone device-count will drop from six to four, with two high-end and two entry-level smartphones.

Under this new arrangement, the laggard Z10 will become one of the two entry-level models while the newly announced Z30 will fill in one of the "high-end" slots.

It sad that it had to come to this, but it looks as though we are witnessing the implosion of a once great smartphone company.

Source: BlackBerry

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RE: They can read the future?
By arazok on 9/20/2013 4:35:19 PM , Rating: 2
In Heins’s defence, I really don’t know what he could have done to save BB. The place was pretty much ruined when he took over.

One might as well have done what he did. Cross your fingers, and hope that BB10 actually turns the ship around. From the best anyone can tell, he looked for buyers before he committed to that strategy, and couldn’t find any.

RE: They can read the future?
By retrospooty on 9/20/2013 4:42:54 PM , Rating: 3
YA, Heinz took the wheel of a sinking ship. Not alot he could have donbe. Balsilie and Lazardis broke it beyond reasonable repair.

RE: They can read the future?
By Mint on 9/20/2013 7:00:38 PM , Rating: 2
Jason has a point, though. If a man of Thorsten's mindset took over Nokia, he would have just continued with Symbian/Meego, since that's what they had in the pipeline.

Such a strategy, IMO, would have been even worse for Nokia. Elop at least got MS to pay them $1B/yr.

RE: They can read the future?
By Solandri on 9/21/2013 3:44:22 PM , Rating: 3
And what if Symbian/Meego would've been a success that relegated Android and iOS to also-rans?

Nobody can reliably predict these things. There's a large element of luck involved, so it's not really fair to judge people based on how things turn out. That'd be like calling the winner of the $400 million Powerball lottery a genius for playing the lottery. And calling everyone who played and lost idiots for making the exact same decision and playing the lottery. See how judging people based on outcomes can result in completely opposite judgments for the exact same decision?

You have to judge people on how good their decisions were based on the information and opportunities they had at the time. You can make the right decisions and still lose, and you can make the wrong decisions and still win. A right decision just increases the probability of success. It does not guarantee it.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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