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BlackBerry Confirms 4,500 Job Cuts, Warns of $950 Million Loss 120

An anonymous reader writes "Today BlackBerry announced that it expects its quarterly net operating losses to be somewhere between $950 million and $995 million. It also confirmed earlier reports that it would be cutting 4,500 jobs, roughly 40% of its total workforce. 'The loss is mainly the result of a write-off of unsold BlackBerry phones, as well as $72 million in restructuring charges. The company said that it would discontinue two of the six phones it currently offers.' According to the press release, BlackBerry is going to 'refocus on enterprise and prosumer market.' 'The failure of the BlackBerry 10 line of phones quickly led to speculation that the company, like Palm before it, would be broken apart and perhaps gradually disappear, at best lingering as little more than a brand name.'"
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BlackBerry Confirms 4,500 Job Cuts, Warns of $950 Million Loss

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Don't worry guys! Amatuer hour is over!


    • ...then I might have felt endeared to them.

      As it is, however, watching a worldwide fleet of such devices go out of currency (as the company unduly continues to wait for those of us who- who once trusted it to keep our devises up-to-date - to trust it again. We didn't & won't.

      When will companies begin to enable its customers to enjoy the freedom of choice, in such matters, rather than opting for a "they'll have choice but to buy the new model" last resort - rather than encourahe a lasting, trust-rewardi

      • Wide (not wise)

        And... We were referring to the rumoured but AFAIK never delivered upgrade to PlayBooks, that could have come out with the latest product releases... We think it still can & should be released, to help users retain some value in their mostly devices.

        If that's impossible le, let RIM release the tools & info to enable those who can (& may still want to) attempt to do that, eg, as an Open Source project, as a tribute to the company & its device...

  • Yikes! I totally didn't see that coming!!
  • by Capt.DrumkenBum ( 1173011 ) on Friday September 20, 2013 @06:25PM (#44908087)
    So the headline makes reference to a loss of 4500 RIM jobs, and that is a tragedy.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There is a chance of course that a small minority of those 4500 people will indeed find themselves providing RIM jobs in the not so distant future.
    • RIM jobs are not gone. They live on inside of all of us.
    • 4500 are just the number they are "letting go", in the following days you will see a larger drop in the "kept" people that will be fleeing the sinking ship...

    • Well played. My hat is off to you, sir.

  • Oh well (Score:3, Informative)

    by PylonHead ( 61401 ) on Friday September 20, 2013 @06:34PM (#44908129) Homepage Journal

    40% of their workforce? I guess the worst part of this is that there are still ~6,750 more jobs to lose...

    • Poor Blackberry; they've been on the skids for years. The whole "Lawsuits in Motion" thing distracted them, but mostly they missed the boat when Apple was developing the smartphone market for people who want the shiny toys and Google Android followed up by taking the cheaper smartphone space.

      • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Friday September 20, 2013 @07:31PM (#44908555) Journal

        The whole "Lawsuits in Motion" thing distracted them, but mostly they missed the boat

        You're giving Blackberry too much credit here...a company of thousands doesn't get "distracted"...the decision makers may be completely out of touch with their market or now technology works...that sure is possible...but a company can't get "distracted" any more than it can "take a shit"

        developing the smartphone market for people who want the shiny toys

        You talk about Apple as if the iphone is all just bullshit eye candy...

        the iphone was better in practically every way...because Blackberry sucked at R&D

        they had alot of users b/c for a long time their phones were the only game in town to send email and *also* another big factor is their 'enterprise' deals where they'd sell work phones to big companies on contract, ergo employees get company Blackberries

        **that's** why Blackberry had users...and profits

        their product was never actually competitively better and they didn't pioneer a market...just offered a service on a device first (email)...that's not really innovation

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Ah the contradictions...
          "just offered a service on a device first (email)...that's not really innovation"

          So what is "innovative" if offering a service no one else had for years is not?

          "their product was never actually competitively better" Didn't you just say they were there first? So was there competition or not? A number of devices tried and failed to beat BB at the email game.

          BB was the workhouse device for many years, now i agree they are dying but your comments are nonsense and overlook th
          • So what is "innovative" if offering a service no one else had for years is not?

            nothing I guess...your question doesn't make sense from a technical perspective

            using STMP on a cell phone isn't innovation, because it's **the next logical step**

            'email' is STMP

            essentially it's a way to transmit text over a distance, **just like a telegram or pager**

            it's text

            phone calls are voice

            combining the two functions from two devices into one device that does both is simply the next logical step

            innovation is doing something

            • it wasn't that simple. When they did first did it, if all they did was do SMTP via IP, virtually nobody would have been able to use it because of crazy high data usage fee's. They made it so you could get the email on your phone soon after it was delivered to your mailbox, but minimized in data size so it was affordable by a much larger group. And they added encryption so the biggest corporations would use it, to protect their trade secrets, when others didn't.

              It was unique, and a great solution when it

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Blackberry and the former RIM are experiencing this because they decided they owned the mobile phone market, thus adopting a Microsoft-lite we own "enterprise" attitude.

          Of course, add a few years and they got to reap the benefits of this attitude.

          Which goes to show, pride is the ability to overlook your own flaws and history --- and repeat what happens every single time a company adopts the "we are dominant and irreplacable attitude".

          p.s. Any given graveyard is full of irreplaceables.
        • by Kjella ( 173770 )

          They were innovators for professional use. Blackberry had all the i's dotted and t's crossed for businesses, but it gave the users very little reason to want one. RIM thought that purchasing decision would lie with big corporate bigwigs and that employees would be issued their standard corporate badge, laptop and Blackberry. Even the phones they sold individually seemed to appeal more to independent contractors and others with professional needs. Blackberry could not in any way imagine what a hipster or tee

          • Don't be too hard on RIM, going from selling

            sorry to do this but I have to...for everyone's sake...we *need* to know what works and why, otherwise we will have to endure the next generation fucking things up the same way in tech business

            They were innovators for professional use.

            this is why I refuse to let Blackberry and RIM off the hook...god bless their employees...i'm sure many did great work

            but,'s the deal:

            in the mid-90s **high school kids** had pagers...they were such barbaric 1

            • in the mid-90s **high school kids** had pagers...they were such barbaric 1-way only text gagets...but compared to nothing it was like telepathy

              **ANYONE** with half a brain at that time would logically conclude that there is a market for a **two-way** texting device

              the next logical step in functionality is not innovation

              it's just not...

              Sorry, but saying two-ways after one-way is obvious and therefore not an innovation is all manner of wrong.

              For example, tablets: there were prop computer tablets going all the way back at least to Star Trek in the 1960s, or the movie 2001, or Star Trek: The Next Generation's PADDs. It was "obvious" that at some point it would happen, but *how* you do it, with what technology works in the background, can certainly be innovative. The industry had 7 years of Windows tablets that didn't get much traction, then

              • Unfortunately you and Blackberry's leaders have the same problem

                You think *any* idea for how to solve a problem is *innovation*

                It's not.

                Without having a definition battle, linking to stuff, let me try to explain.

                Commonalities emerge in any repeated action. In a job, you typically have similar problems on a daily basis that have similar solutions.

                Humans naturally look for these commonalities and progressions and try to learn them.

                **innovation** true innovation that is worth getting excited about...tha

          • Don't be too hard on RIM, going from selling professional products to consumer products is one of the toughest transitions companies goes through and one that's massively underestimated because people think you're going to sell "the same". You don't.

            well, you do and you don't. They needed to sell the same sort of hardware (people who preferred blackberry did so because of the hardware in most cases) but with more user-focused software. They needed to change halfway, and they couldn't even manage that.

      • by Goody ( 23843 )

        but mostly they missed the boat when Apple was developing the smartphone market for people who want the shiny toys

        No, Apple developed a smartphone that had an actual usable touchscreen, didn't require a physical keyboard, and had a web browser that was a joy to use compared to anything BB had. I had several BBs, including the Storm, their sorry attempt at an iPhone. BB missed the boat by releasing phones that were still in the 20th century. And then there was also that shit pile known as BES that some of us had to support.

  • by Known Nutter ( 988758 ) on Friday September 20, 2013 @06:41PM (#44908173)
    At this point its just sad... like watching your dog die.
    • It's more like watching a dinosaur stuck in a tar pit . . . the more it struggles, the more it sinks . . .

      Hey, Steven Elop is tanned, rested and ready . . . maybe he could jump in to RIM as CEO . . . and switch Blackberry to be a Windows Phone platform . . . ?

  • by wjcofkc ( 964165 ) on Friday September 20, 2013 @06:51PM (#44908255)
    While on the one hand this is an example of natural evolution within the mobile industry, it's still a shame to seeing them dying. They really did bring a lot of new thinking to the industry... ten years ago. They backed themselves into this corner through sheer ignorance. They literally shunned innovation, thinking that their old platform would somehow keep things going. When they realized what dumb-asses they had been with a lack of long-term strategy, it was too late. I really do like the new BB platform, great phones and a great OS. The problem is, even people who admit that they really are pretty cool don't want to invest in a platform that everyone knows is on the verge of going six feet under. With that in mind, this really is the personification of too little to late. So that's my semi-damning eulogy.

    RIP BlackBerry.
    • Always feel sad to see another platform die.

      Each platform is like a playground for me, to investigate and explore. One less platform is one less place for fun.
  • A company that can lose $1 billion USD and stay open only needs 10,000 employees.
  • Email did it (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CdBee ( 742846 )
    I bought a used Blackberry when it was still a current phone and was appalled to find it required a Blackberry account to work properly. This was just at the point when even dumbphones like the Sony W810i I was using could receive email in real time and notify the user, with nothing more than some configuration and a basic GPRS connection. Needless to say I never considered going any further and my Curve 4310 sits in a drawer for use as a spare handset just in case
    • I remember using my first cellphone (2003), a SonyEricsson T300 in exactly the same manner. I was able to do web browsing, email, & even a tethered data connection via IRDA. I've even used that phone (it still works!) in the past couple of years as a spare. Â

      Many of the features of "smartphones" have been old hash for a long time, in much simpler & elegant implementations.

      Â amusingly, when I was using the T300 as a spare, it was identified as an iPhone by friends of mine with such devices.

      • by Desler ( 1608317 )

        Â amusingly, when I was using the T300 as a spare, it was identified as an iPhone by friends of mine with such devices.

        Are they legally blind?

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Friday September 20, 2013 @07:31PM (#44908551)
    First, Blackberry waited far too long in their downward spiral before giving serious consideration to selling the company. Second, by announcing to the world that they're for sale they instantly froze the decision process of every corporation that was considering an upgrade to BB10. Why would any customer consider committing themselves to Blackberry for the next 2-5 years when they're not even sure Blackberry would last in (its current form at least) till the end of the year? It's clear Blackberry publicly announced their intentions to sell in order to stem the mass exodus out of the stock. It will go down as the last of many horrible decisions made by the company's management.
    • by noh8rz10 ( 2716597 ) on Friday September 20, 2013 @07:40PM (#44908635)

      Second, by announcing to the world that they're for sale they instantly froze the decision process of every corporation that was considering an upgrade to BB10. Why would any customer consider committing themselves to Blackberry for the next 2-5 years when they're not even sure Blackberry would last in (its current form at least) till the end of the year?

      I think this concern is overblown.

      --sent from my Palm Pixel

    • by Desler ( 1608317 )

      Second, by announcing to the world that they're for sale they instantly froze the decision process of every corporation that was considering an upgrade to BB10.

      Because those 5 sales were going to save the company?

    • On top of all of that, they have the ignominious position of being a big Canadian company, which means they need government approval to be sold. Since the government, up to recently, has made it clear they didn't want to lose BBY to a foreign owner, a sale was always going to be tricky to impossible. You'd need to find a domestic Canadian owner to buy it or else not at all. There are Canadian funds which have the capacity to make a buy. None have shown any known interest in doing that in the past or n

      • Lacking a domestic buyer, a Microsoft or a Lenovo still cannot simply swoop in a buy BlackBerry like they might snap up some other company.

        Sure they can, at least now. They'll need regulatory approval but that will just be a rubber stamp at this point. I worked for WebCT when we were acquired by Blackboard. It was straightforward.

  • by asmkm22 ( 1902712 ) on Friday September 20, 2013 @08:18PM (#44908849)

    Such a slow and painful death brought about by a marked lack of new technologies in their final years. For all the apathy and hatred people throw at companies like Microsoft, they survive because they diversify and adapt (some better than others). Companies like Novell and Blackberry just seem to stagnate, while their core product line inevitably becomes too dated to support the bottom line any longer.

    The really funny thing about all of this is just how predictable it should be for any technology company. Consumer demand changes pretty much every 1 to 3 years, and if companies aren't updating and innovating during that time, then they will go the way of Novell and Blackberry. Every time.

    • by raind ( 174356 )

      I miss Novell, and still a have a Blackberry from 07, I don't use it much now since work gave me a iPhone, but at least can change the battery on it if needed - still using original one though.

  • High-tech companies, one failure away from oblivion. With shortening cycle times and increased numbers of competitors, it becomes even more unlikely that a company will never flop a generation of products.
  • This makes me sad, if only because it feels as if RIM was the only company that was thinking in terms of what business people need(ed) in a smart phone.

    I still think there's a market for a smart phone that is actually intended to be used for document (especially e-mail) creation, and aimed at the needs of people who need to send and receive messages that run longer than three sentences.

    On a day to day basis the things that I need from my phone aren't 10,000 music tracks, or the ability to watch a Brea
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      blackberry was thoroughly fucked the second IT people ran out of unlimited budgets and became fucking obvious that actual pricing for BB phones was fucking high(they were non-existent in any market that separated phone price from the service price and for good reason. palm was fucked for the same reason. sure, I could have bought a treo back in the day OR I could have bought 3 nokia 6600's or two nokia communicators or five t610's form sony e).

      the iphone was a bargain when compared to palm and bb phones if

      • by isdnip ( 49656 )

        Price might have killed the BB10 line too. The Z10 was priced near an iPhone and the Q10 was priced even higher. That's a ridiculous way to break into new markets when you're behind, and when the teardown cost of parts makes it clear that there's plenty of margin to work with. Some imbecile at BBY was greedy and shot the moon, when they should have taken their medicine and priced it competitively. BB10 devices get great user reviews.

  • Jack: What's going on? We have a right to know the truth!
    Rumack: [to the passengers] All right, I'm going to level with you all. But what's most important now is that you remain calm. There is no reason to panic.
    [Rumack's nose grows an inch long]
    Rumack: Now, it is true that one of the crew members is ill... slightly ill.
    [Rumack's nose continues to grow longer and longer, à la Pinocchio]
    Rumack: But the other two pilots... they're just fine. They're at the controls flying the plane... free to pursue a li

  • It's too late to save RIM. They should lay off the rest of their workforce and sell what's left to investors, if they still possess anything of value. The people with any insight have already left the company over the last 10 years. Those who are left aren't going to generate any new ideas that could turn the company profitable.

  • One group of customers that seems to really like Blackberry are teenage to twenty something girls who love the keyboard + good chat integration. I don't get why they don't focus on a potentially huge market that is genuinely enthusiastic about their products.

    I love the idea of BlackBerry balance and wish they focused more on this. The idea of two way security is a unique feature. They should market to enterprise workers based on that.

  • My brother once told me that when the geeks who run a technology company buy a sports team the company is then on a ballistic trajectory. From about 2006 to 2009 one of the founders futzed around buying a hockey team. I would think that buying/running a hockey team would be far more interesting than running a bloated tech company and definitely time consuming. Typically when you are running a large organization you need to be solving 100 problems at once all the time. So you have to pick the most significan
  • I take it that means the delayed promised messenger for other platforms is off?

  • is playing a brilliant strategy. This billion dollar writedown lowers the stocks so it can be taken private. Meanwhile, BlackBerry announces the flagship Z30 to get users excited. Z10 hasn't been out that long, and already they're writing off stock? And Z10 is such an awesome phone, anyone who actually uses one loves it. It could only be for one reason, to take the company private asap. Expect announcement of sale soon.
  • Blackberry stopped innovating like 10 years ago and expected to stay the leader in the smart phone industry. Blackberry OS 6.0 was the last real progress and innovation made by the company and from there on they have really just stood still and watched iOS and Android take over. The biggest joke of all is that BB10 was going to save the company! BB10 is a mix / copy of iOS and Android built on top of a third party ( which they own ) Operating System. If you want to make a new phone platform that is goin
  • WTF? For lack of market is blackberry just making one up?

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