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article imageBlackBerry announces global layoffs in next stage of turnaround

By James Walker     May 24, 2015 in Technology
Phone company BlackBerry has announced that it will be starting off a new wave of layoffs as it progresses into the next stage of its ongoing turnaround strategy. The company's success has fallen dramatically in the face of powerful smartphone rivals.
BlackBerry used to be renowned for its phones. Equipped with distinctive and functional full-QWERTY keyboards and a design favoured by enterprises, BlackBerry grew and enjoyed healthy sales.
That all began to change from 2007. Apple launched the iPhone and immediately claimed a substantial chunk of the phone market. With every subsequent iteration becoming even more attractive and Google's rival Android platform rapidly becoming the largest operating system in the world, BlackBerry struggled to keep up as the tide rapidly turned against it.
It took too long to release any competitive new products. The BlackBerry 10 operating system should have been successful but ultimately emerged far too late after several delays. Similarly, the new phones that ran it — the Z10 and Q10 — were popularly received by reviewers but were simply too late to reclaim the company's historic market share from the now established Apple and Google.
A recent IDC survey showed that BlackBerry held just 0.4 percent of global smartphone sales in 2014, according to Phys.org. The company has been forced to remake its entire business in a desperate final bid to survive. A BlackBerry spokesperson told AFP on Saturday that "One of our priorities is making our device business profitable."
Inevitably, this has led to waves of layoffs and the company has now announced another, despite CEO John Chen saying last August that the last rounds had already been seen. No details of how many jobs will be cut have been released but CTV News says they will focus on people who make the hardware and software for its devices. The Canadian company currently employs 7,000 people across the world.
At its peak period of success — around a decade ago — the company employed around 20,000 people, almost three times as many as it does now. Recent reports have suggested rival companies may be queueing up to buy the dying brand including Xiaomi, Lenovo and Huawei but especially key rival Microsoft.
BlackBerry has been recovering in recent times and did announce a small profit last year but it continues to lose share in the smartphone market while Apple, Google and Microsoft all experience strong growth.
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