BlackBerry has been making a bit of a stir in the Android world over the past few months with their impending release of BBM in the next few days, but things are not looking good for the struggling handset manufacturer. After several failed attempts to re-invent itself in an attempt to regain lost market-share, BlackBerry (formally Research In Motion) is expected to hand out pink slips to close to 40 percent of their global workforce by the end of this year.
Thanks to a report over at the Wall Street Journal, the layoffs are expected to impact nearly every department in the company and happen over several waves. It is apparent that the company has been struggling for some time, even to the point that they were planning on selling off chunks of the company just a few months ago.
BlackBerry has confirmed the news and is calling it a reorganization. In their statement to the Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson said "organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing.". BlackBerry refused to mention the exact number of employees who will be eliminated as part of this shift.
For several years, BlackBerry devices were a staple in corporate environments and made up the bulk of BlackBerry's customer base. Ever since iOS and Android Devices hit the market a few years ago and implemented corporate email functions, BlackBerry immediately started to lose customers at an alarming rate. In order to try to keep up with the trends, the company attempted to launch their own tablet (the PlayBook) and touchscreen phone (BlackBerry Storm). Both products were half-baked and failed to impress customers.
Many people I know who still use BlackBerry phones have expressed that the only reason that they have not switched to Android was that they use BBM however as this is now expected to launch on Android, they can now make the transition.