BlackBerry to cut 4,500 jobs in exit from consumer market

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The manufacturer will reduce its handset portfolio from six to four devices as it refocuses on the enterprise and ‘prosumer’ (professional consumer) market

BlackBerry has announced its exit from the consumer market, adding it will cut 4,500 jobs by mid-2015.

The manufacturer said in a report on its quarterly results (June, July, August) that it will “refocus” on the enterprise and ‘prosumer’ – professional consumer – market and restructure its workforce with the aim of reducing operating expenses by approximately 50 per cent by the end of its first quarter in 2015 (March, April, May).

It’s future smartphone portfolio will be reduced from six devices to four, which will be designed for business customers and include two high-end devices and two entry-level devices.

BlackBerry said the three months ending August 31 saw increased penetration of business software BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10, with installations up to 25,000 from 19,000 in July 2013.

Financial Results

The company said it expects a net operating loss of approximately $950 million (£592 million) to $995 million (£620 million) for its second quarter, blaming an “increasingly competitive business environment”.

It sold 3.7 million BlackBerry smartphones between June and August, although most of these were BlackBerry 7 devices and not from its latest, BB 10, range.

BlackBerry will also incur costs for storing inventory and supplying handsets of approximately $930 million (£580 million) to $960 million (£599 million) – which the company said is “partly attributable” to its Z10 devices.

 

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