Sound the retreat: BlackBerry cuts 4,500 jobs, pulls back from mass consumer market

Expects to post $1 billion quarterly loss

Sound the retreat: BlackBerry cuts 4,500 jobs, pulls back from mass consumer market
BlackBerry has announced major cuts to its workforce and operating expenditures as it prepares to retreat from the consumer market.

These drastic measures come in the wake of a net operating loss for the current quarter that's expected to range between $950 and $995 million, with most of the blame being placed on the poor performance of its first BB10 device, the BlackBerry Z10 smartphone.

The 4,500 announced job cuts represent roughly 40 percent of BlackBerry's global workforce.

Difficult, but necessary

Speaking on the upheavel, CEO Thorsten Heins called the changes "difficult, but necessary".

Heins went on to say that BlackBerry plans "to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user."

In a cost-cutting measure, BlackBerry also plans to trim its smartphone offerings down from six to four devices - two high-end and two entry-level phones - with the Z10 to be 're-tiered' as an entry-level device.

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Robert Green
It's hard to imagine what approach would work for BlackBerry right now. They're not making the best hardware, or the best software, or the best value-for-money products, and supporting BB10 is an afterthought for most developers, if they've thought of it at all.
If they can't change at least one of those in the next few months, they still won't have a compelling answer to the question "why should I buy a blackberry?".
Keith Andrew
I wonder if Alicia Keys was one of the ones let go...
jon jordan
Agreed. I think this is a way of setting up the company to be sold.
Phil M
I have to say I don't think their new approach is going to work as well. Leave the entry level market to someone else, go super high-end, concentrate on niche markets, offer something distinctive to everyone else.