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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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Comeback!
By dgingerich on 9/20/2013 4:57:46 PM , Rating: 2
I have several ideas that could be the perfect comeback for Blackberry, but they'd never listen to me.




RE: Comeback!
By retrospooty on 9/20/2013 5:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
There is really only one thing they had to do... Make a phone that people want.

Simply put, a company that makes phones, 6 years after the iPhone released, still couldn't manage to make a phone that people want.


RE: Comeback!
By troysavary on 9/20/2013 5:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
It wasn't so much they didn't produce a desirable phone, they produced it 2 or 3 years too late. The Z10 is a nice device and BBOS10 is, in my opinion, far superior to Android. But BB waited too long and lost any momentum they once had. By time the Z10 finally came out, everyone had already written off BB. If they had released a QNX based handset around the same time they released the Playbook, I think things would be completely different. Speaking of the Playbook, there is a market BB pioneered. The 7 inch tablet. That, and the Kindle Fire, were there way before everyone else was doing it.


RE: Comeback!
By retrospooty on 9/20/2013 6:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
"It wasn't so much they didn't produce a desirable phone, they produced it 2 or 3 years too late. "

Ya, but "desirable" means people want it, and no-one does. The fact that no one wants it means its not desirable, regardless of how good it might be. They failed to make it good enough for anyone to notice or care, and they failed to market it as well, therefore its not desirable.


RE: Comeback!
By bplewis24 on 9/20/2013 5:55:50 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is, they needed to make a phone people wanted like 4 years ago. Even if they made the best phone on the market, bar none, and released it last week, they'd have NO CHANCE.

Android & iOS are way too entrenched, and there is really only room for one third place runner right now, which happens to be MS with WP8. And WP8 has the niche of being very different from iOS and Android (at least in UI terms), so RIM can't even compete with them.

Everything RIM does is a year late and a dollar short. Hell, they even released BBM (the last thing most tech-savvy people cared about from RIM) a full year or two after most people stopped caring.


RE: Comeback!
By ritualm on 9/20/2013 7:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
If BB is a defense contractor for the US government, it would have made millions in profits and not have to worry about being a distant fourth place in consumer mindshare. And since government contracts have very different requirements, being very very late to market would actually help them in the long run.


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