Update: BlackBerry Confirms Massive Layoffs

Update: BlackBerry Confirms Massive Layoffs

BlackBerry reports losses of almost $1 billion in the second quarter of 2013.

Trading of BlackBerry shares were temporarily paused today when the company revealed their preliminary results for the second quarter of the 2013 fiscal year. BlackBerry announced in a press release that it expects net operating losses of approximately $950 million to $995 million. The company also detailed changes in its business strategy and drastic restructuring plans with the aim to reduce operating costs by 50% by the first quarter of 2015. The restructuring will mean the loss of approximately 4,500 positions, cutting BlackBerry's workforce by almost 40% to about 7,000 employees.

BlackBerry's press released stated its focus moving forward would be on its "enterprise and prosumer market" - that is, business users. BlackBerry will reduce the number of smartphones it offers from six to four, just two high-end and two entry-level phones. The underwhelming sales of the BlackBerry Z10, the first BlackBerry phone to feature a touch screen, contributed to the company's poor performance in the second quarter. BlackBerry confirmed that the Z10 would be one of the two entry-level phones on its four-device roster.

BlackBerry announced in May 2012 that it would be conducting a strategic review, and that it had hired the Royal Bank of Canada and J.P. Morgan to assist. The company has struggled to compete in recent years against smartphone platforms from Apple and Google. Though the total number of smartphone users has increased significantly since 2010, when 40% of users had a BlackBerry, the proportion of BlackBerry users out of all smartphone users had plummeted to only 6% in January 2013.

Source: TechCrunch

Update: BlackBerry has announced a provisional agreement for the sale of the company to Fairfax Financial Holdings in a deal worth $4.7 billion. Fairfax Financial Holdings is a financial holding company whose CEO previously sat on the BlackBerry board. The sale, which is subject to regulatory approvals, would make BlackBerry a private company.

Source: CBC News

Permalink

You have to fail in a very special way to lose a billion dollars in a single quarter. A shame BlackBerry didn't see the iPhone as the threat it ended up being... but that's the free market in action- always another company ready to eat your lunch if you're not paying attention.

Still not as big of a fail as Symbian.

Don't know what Symbian is? Exactly. It went from 73% of the smartphone market to defunct in seven years.

It's a shame, too. My Mom has the last Symbian phone in the world, and the Symbian interface is better than the other phone interfaces.

Working in telecommunications myself, I saw this coming from a mile away.

The Z10 offered a mere fraction of what other phones had to offer and for almost no cheaper.

In Australia, the Z10 was $696 to buy unlocked/off-contract - for that exact price (or cheaper in a lot of cases) you could have a Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note II, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, LG Optimus G.. and for a mere $60 more you could get a Galaxy S4.

The Phone and OS are slow and buggy as hell, The phone itself is ugly and about 4 years behind in hardware tech, and with BBM available on the android platform, it literally has nothing you cannot get elsewhere.

lacktheknack:
Still not as big of a fail as Symbian.

Don't know what Symbian is? Exactly. It went from 73% of the smartphone market to defunct in seven years.

It's a shame, too. My Mom has the last Symbian phone in the world, and the Symbian interface is better than the other phone interfaces.

The Symbian interface has been dated for years, clinging to the Symbian OS is most of the reason Nokia fell so far.

The Symbian OS was slow and laggy - no matter the hardware, The interface was dated and unintuitive in most of it's smartphones iterations and it severely lacked software features and app support compared to other smartphone operating systems.

I couldn't count on an abacus the amount of Nokia N6's, N7's and E7's I had to send away for repair under warranty for pure software issues.

Whatislove:

lacktheknack:
Still not as big of a fail as Symbian.

Don't know what Symbian is? Exactly. It went from 73% of the smartphone market to defunct in seven years.

It's a shame, too. My Mom has the last Symbian phone in the world, and the Symbian interface is better than the other phone interfaces.

The Symbian interface has been dated for years, clinging to the Symbian OS is most of the reason Nokia fell so far.

The Symbian OS was slow and laggy - no matter the hardware, The interface was dated and unintuitive in most of it's smartphones iterations and it severely lacked software features and app support compared to other smartphone operating systems.

I couldn't count on an abacus the amount of Nokia N6's, N7's and E7's I had to send away for repair under warranty for pure software issues.

I'll concede poor app support, but beyond that, Mom is clearly the luckiest girl in the world, as she's had no issues whatsoever.

Too little too late, I guess.

Well, what's bad about this is that those people have experience and know-how and all that and they'll eventually fall back on their feet, let's face it, some of them maybe already have, but this will make competition worse for the younger guys trying to get into the game. It's a doggy dog world.

Hmmm, well I think a lot of it comes from unexpected tech awareness among users. A lot of companies believe they can aim products at an older audience who will stick with them purely through name recognition. "Blackberry" was famous and seemed to go almost hand in hand with older business types and baby boomers for a while, neither of which have been known as tech savvy consumers. In reality people in general have been learning more and going by what a device can actually do, rather than the name, and this is catching on among all age groups. Being tech savvy is increasingly less of a trait associated entirely with the young.

On some levels though I can understand their problem. I know some older people (subjectively, I'm 38) who a few years ago couldn't operate a phone very well, and whose greatest technological accomplishment was Farmville on Facebook, who despite their resistance to adaption have actually learned and "gotten it" on a lot of levels.

I also remember growing up how all video game consoles were called "Nintendos" by adults due to that being the dominant brand, whether it was a Dreamcast, an X-box, a Playstation, a Genesis, or whatever else it was all "Nintendo"... ironically even when Nintendo was failing for a while. I think this is the kind of thing Blackberry was relying on, when really... it's just not like that anymore. Most people can tell an X-box from a Playstation, or at least understand they are different machines by different companies.

Whatislove:

lacktheknack:
Still not as big of a fail as Symbian.

Don't know what Symbian is? Exactly. It went from 73% of the smartphone market to defunct in seven years.

It's a shame, too. My Mom has the last Symbian phone in the world, and the Symbian interface is better than the other phone interfaces.

The Symbian interface has been dated for years, clinging to the Symbian OS is most of the reason Nokia fell so far.

The Symbian OS was slow and laggy - no matter the hardware, The interface was dated and unintuitive in most of it's smartphones iterations and it severely lacked software features and app support compared to other smartphone operating systems.

I couldn't count on an abacus the amount of Nokia N6's, N7's and E7's I had to send away for repair under warranty for pure software issues.

Symbian was/is horrible, and as said above a big part of Nokia's fall. Utter gash.

As for BlackBerry it's a little different, they helped bring about the smartphone revolution then completely dropped the ball on several fronts simultaneously. Nothing massive on each but the combined effect is what we're seeing now. I'd really like HTC to get their stuff together again to give Samsung a run for their money.

Therumancer:
Hmmm, well I think a lot of it comes from unexpected tech awareness among users. A lot of companies believe they can aim products at an older audience who will stick with them purely through name recognition. "Blackberry" was famous and seemed to go almost hand in hand with older business types and baby boomers for a while, neither of which have been known as tech savvy consumers. In reality people in general have been learning more and going by what a device can actually do, rather than the name, and this is catching on among all age groups. Being tech savvy is increasingly less of a trait associated entirely with the young.

On some levels though I can understand their problem. I know some older people (subjectively, I'm 38) who a few years ago couldn't operate a phone very well, and whose greatest technological accomplishment was Farmville on Facebook, who despite their resistance to adaption have actually learned and "gotten it" on a lot of levels.

I also remember growing up how all video game consoles were called "Nintendos" by adults due to that being the dominant brand, whether it was a Dreamcast, an X-box, a Playstation, a Genesis, or whatever else it was all "Nintendo"... ironically even when Nintendo was failing for a while. I think this is the kind of thing Blackberry was relying on, when really... it's just not like that anymore. Most people can tell an X-box from a Playstation, or at least understand they are different machines by different companies.

The funny thing with the Nintendo thing...my dad continuously refers to the Gamecube as the Xbox. Even when in Gamestop stores.
He asks for Xbox games, when what he really meant was Gamecube.

This isn't really that surprising, the Government (at least the US Government) is pretty much the only entity remaining that exclusively still uses Blackberries as their issued phones (for jobs that involve getting issued phones). They were big with Corporations for a while but now pretty much all of them use Android and Iphone's (at least that has been my experience thus far).

Ihateregistering1:
This isn't really that surprising, the Government (at least the US Government) is pretty much the only entity remaining that exclusively still uses Blackberries as their issued phones (for jobs that involve getting issued phones). They were big with Corporations for a while but now pretty much all of them use Android and Iphone's (at least that has been my experience thus far).

Now even that might change as Samsung's Knox enterprise security solution got certified by the DoD for use by their employees. As far as I know, this is a greenlight for use by field agents. iOS devices were only certified for staff use.

Its amazing because these guys owned the business. Then a company with no experience in that market, after just building a music player comes in and beats them over the head...

Just rewatch the beginning of the end for blackberry with steve jobs. Whats obvious now wasn't obvious then.
iPhone Keynote 2007 Complete
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4OEsI0Sc_s

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-review/6
and yes, the iphone 5s is 100x faster than the original in that 2007 video lol

I remember those. They were really big at one stage but now into utter decay.

Wonder if this will continue when new kinds of smart phones or something will pop out. I would be pretty happy if apple became irrelevant.

Hubris is a bitch. It's amazing how much they missed the mark and went from top dog to bottom of the pile.

As someone who uses cellphones very sparingly... I'm not to emotionally attached to any phone really. At least a Canadian company is buying it.

I live in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario where RIM (err, sorry "Blackberry) is headquartered. It's a crazy time here!
In a selfish bout of feelings, I'm kind of hoping this will drive the housing market down because I want to buy a house.

Phone market is brutal. It's constantly changing and evolving. But you have to be a colossal idiot to still think that you can compete with giants like Apple and Samsung with that thing. I'm sorry about all those people who lost their jobs. I'm just glad I'm not much of a phone person. I don't even have a smart-phone.

I'm kind of upset. Certainly, Blackberry has made a lot of mistakes recently (much like Microsoft in the PC world but more dramatically), but I've been with them since my first smartphone, and I just really like the balance between the smart part and the phone part you get with a Blackberry. With my 9360 Curve, I can browse the internet, set up wifi hotspots, get all my email from multiple accounts much quicker and more conveniently even than on my PC, store notes and contacts and things, and of course phone, email and make SMSes. The Blackberry Internet Service especially is a godsend because data is stupidly expensive in my country.

And I can do all my typing with a physical keypad. Maybe that makes me a luddite, but I like the feel of actual buttons and I can definitely type much faster on them. I don't care about phone games and "apps" (I have a computer for stuff like that), and I feel like those are the main focuses of Android and Apple devices. I know people who constantly keep their data turned off and basically just use their phones as gaming devices, and that really doesn't appeal to me.

Plus, upgrading from one Blackberry to another is absolutely painless and results in no loss of data. I haven't had to copy out phonebooks or re-ask everyone for their phone numbers in six years, and I haven't lost a memo in that time either. I know some folks have had bad experiences with Blackberry, but my three BB phones have treated me well, and I'll miss my current one when it comes time to upgrade.

I wont shed any tears. I feel for the people who are losing there jobs, but rim has been hemorrhaging money for years as they are stuck in the past and at least for the past few years there phones have been cheap tat that fall to bits in a few months.

Ihateregistering1:
This isn't really that surprising, the Government (at least the US Government) is pretty much the only entity remaining that exclusively still uses Blackberries as their issued phones (for jobs that involve getting issued phones). They were big with Corporations for a while but now pretty much all of them use Android and Iphone's (at least that has been my experience thus far).

Company here uses mostly Blackberries (used to be exclusively). I got a Blackberry Bold since I don't really need or want my phone to do that much more than you know... be a phone and at times read mails or set appointments and similar (or sometimes listening to music and IM).

It was also one of the few companies still using proper keys and keyboards and I personally can't bear all that touchscreen garbage, so the Z10 was kind of a wrongheaded move.
I might have to upgrade to a Q10 though, since the battery in this one isn't lasting all that long anymore.

Was trying some Android phones like the Galaxy S4 and they are just gigantic and unwieldy in comparison for a bunch of features I couldn't care less about and without said keyboard/pad.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here