BlackBerry announces 4,500 layoffs, Q2 losses near $1 billion

The Canadian smartphone maker's financial tumbles have been well-documented, with some thinking this is the beginning of the end.

On Friday, Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry announced it is cutting 4,500 jobs, and announced second quarter net operating losses between $950 and $995 million.

The company, based in Waterloo, Ont., said it sold 3.7 million smartphones over the quarter, with revenues totalling $1.6 billion.

Just months ago, BlackBerry unveiled two new smartphones, the Q10 and the Z10, which were designed to combat the increasingly competitive smartphone market – now dominated by Samsung and Apple – while maintaing the business-friendly design that had made the company such a desired product in its better days. According to BlackBerry’s own numbers, the company had 72,000,000 active global subscribers, which is a slight drop-off from 79,000,000 in December, 2012.

With the announcement, BlackBerry shares fell 16 per cent to $9.08 on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and the company’s delayed but continued financial free falls has caused some to believe today’s news leans toward a ticking time bomb, not a step in the right direction.

“Who would want to throw good money after bad?” said Reuters’s Felix Salmon, in an interview on CBC. “There’s a breakup value to the company, but as a going concern, I believe this is the beginning of the end of people walking around with BlackBerrys in their pocket.”

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Coverage of BlackBerry’s job cuts and stock tumble from around the Interweb:

“Twitter reacts to 4,500 BlackBerry layoffs” – Trevor Melanson, Canadian Business

“BlackBerry confirms massive layoffs” – Chris Velazco, TechCrunch

“BlackBerry to retreat from consumer market” – Aaron Souppoulis, The Verge

CBC:

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