Blackberry To Lay Off Another 250 Employees (BBRY)
In another sign that Blackberry (NASDAQ: BBRY)’s trouble are worsening, the company announced Thursday that it was laying off an additional 250 employees.
This will bring total layoffs to more than 5,000 in the past fiscal year.
Blackberry spokesman Alex Kinsella told AllThingsD, “These employees were part of the New Product Testing Facility, a department that supports BlackBerry’s manufacturing and R&D efforts. This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company correctly for new opportunities in mobile computing.”
The layoffs shouldn’t take investors by surprise. After announcing that it had lost $84 million in its last quarterly earnings statement, Blackberry said that it would be laying off more employees.
Thursday’s news appears to indicate that products like the Q10 and Z10 that run on the company’s new BB10 operating system were not the hits it had hoped. Blackberry was counting on the large-scale product refresh to be a hit with its loyal customer base as well as take back market share that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Samsung (OTC: SSNLF).
The company has seen a string of disappointing product launches. Blackberry incurred a half-billion dollar loss when it attempted to enter the tablet market with its Blackberry Playbook.
Blackberry announced that it would not migrate the BB10 OS to its Playbook because it would not provide a smooth user experience. This may be an indication that it will phase out the tablet that only sold 100,000 units versus Apple’s announcement that it shipped 14.6 million iPads.
Industry insiders blame the company’s dismal performance over the past couple of years on being caught off guard when Apple introduced the iPhone. Consistently, new products from Apple, Samsung and even Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) have overshadowed Blackberry.
In an attempt to gain a piece of the lucrative Indian market, it developed a lower-cost phone, the Q5, to compete with Apple’s rumored low-cost iPhone but critics blast the phone as not being at all budget minded with a price tag north of $400.
The company’s hope may lie in the enterprise market—the area where it has found success over other mobile manufacturers. The enterprise market has a more reliable revenue stream since most corporate clients are under a contract and its device management system has received positive reviews from the enterprise community.
In the past year, Blackberry has traded in a range of $6.31 to $17.90. The stock closed at $8.90 Thursday.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Tim Parker was long Apple.
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