Blackberry lay off almost 40 percent of its workforce and retreat from consumer market

Blackberry lay off almost 40 percent of its workforce and retreat from consumer market after news that it expects to post a $1 billion dollar loss in the most recent financial quarter.

This huge financial loss for the once smartphone behemoth comes on the heels of a lackluster launch of the Z10 and Q10 smartphones, the first to run their new Blackberry 10 OS.  In comparison, the company shipped nearly 4 million devices in the second quarter of the year, most of which were running the older Blackberry 7 OS. A large portion of the loss was attributed to lack of sales and inventory costs, mostly associated with an overabundance of Z10s and a slow consumer market.

Around 4500 employees will be terminated from Blackberry and the company is expected to retreat from the consumer market by reducing the amount of devices it offers. Going forward, the company will reduce its number of devices available from six to four and this will include two high-end devices and 2 entry-level devices in all-touch and QWERTY models.


Lackluster sales of their new Blackberry 10 devices are partly to blame for the large financial loss. / © BlackBerry

Thorsten Heins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blackberry has said: “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”. Heins’ comments come as no surprise, with Blackberry aiming to concentrate more on their enterprise and professional customer base in the future. The one area that Blackberry is making headway, with their Blackberry Enterprise Service, saw growth from 19000 units to 25000 in just three months.

As always, Blackberry continues to look for ways to continue on as is and has been in a downward spiral for the past little while. Maybe the retreat will act as a buffer for them to concentrate on what they did best: Enterprise software.