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BlackBerry Good News, Bad News: New Technologies, More Layoffs

Embattled mobile device maker BlackBerry (BBRY) intends to furlough as much as 40 percent of its 12,700 workers before year’s end, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. The layoffs will reach across all departments of the company and will occur in stages, said sources cited in The Journal’s report.

DH Kass

September 19, 2013

2 Min Read
BlackBerry Good News, Bad News: New Technologies, More Layoffs

Embattled mobile device maker BlackBerry (BBRY) intends to furlough as much as 40 percent of its 12,700 workers before year’s end, according to reports in The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere. The layoffs will reach across all departments of the company and will occur in stages, said sources cited in The Journal’s report.

This latest rounds of layoffs come only a little more than a year after BlackBerry removed 5,000 workers from its rolls, and, stuggling to find equilibrium, lopped an additional 250 employees from its core R&D and manufacturing sectors two months ago. BlackBerry declined comment on the planned layoffs, offering a generic response that “organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing.”

BlackBerry last month let it be known it would be receptive to a private equity buyout, subsequently taking it a step further by forming a special committee to explore all selling options. Suitors lining up to examine the company’s suitability for purchase are said to be more interested in buying its parts—its services business, messaging unit and patent stockpile—rather than acquiring the whole organization.

To combat the bad news, BlackBerry also had some good news for the day. The company disclosed that on Sept. 21 it will roll out its popular BlackBerry Messenger for Google (GOOG) Android and the following day for Apple (AAPL) iOS. BBM has been exclusive to BlackBerry smartphones but it will be offered as a free download in Google Play and the App Store.

And, BlackBerry unwrapped its new Z30 smartphone, the first device equipped with the mobile maker’s BB 10 version 10.2. New to the OS is the BB Priority Hub, which indexes BBM messages, emails, texts and social media interactions. Messages can be previewed both on the smartphone’s interface and in security screen mode and can be responded to from any application. BlackBerry plans to unveil BB 10 version 10.2 for users of its Z10 and Q10 mobile devices next month.

The Z30, which runs on a Qualcomm (QCOM) 1.7GHZ Snapdragon S4 Pro and comes with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, sports a larger 5-inch, 1280×720 Super AMOLED display. The unit supports 4G LTE, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC, and comes with a 2-megapixel camera in the front and an 8-megapixel one in the back.

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About the Author(s)

DH Kass

Senior Contributing Blogger, The VAR Guy

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