The Smartphone maker Blackberry has announced plans to cut almost half of its workforce as it struggles to slash operating costs. The company was once a market leader in mobile devices.
A statement released by Blackberry on Friday said the smartphone maker planned to lay off 4,500 employees, or 40 percent of its current workforce. This would reduce its workforce to just 7,000 and comes a year after Blackberry laid off 5,000 employees.
The job cuts are aimed at trimming costs by 50 percent as the struggling Canadian company continues to seek a buyer
The statement also announced that Blackberry expected to incur losses of $995 million (736 million euros) in the second quarter of this year.
"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's German-born president, 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," he added.
The move comes just months after Blackberry introduced its Z10 smartphone, a mobile device that the company, based in Waterloo, Ontario, hoped would revive its fortunes as it seeks to regain ground lost to Apple and Android phones.
When it came out with its first device in 2000, Blackberry had been a pioneer in the field of phones that allow users access to email and other services. However, it soon fell behind other smartphone makers after Apple introduced its iPhone in 2007 and a number of Android-based rivals entered the market.
pfd/av (AFP,dpa, AP)
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