BlackBerry’s Devices Unit to Lay off Employees
WATERLOO, Ontario, May 25 (UPI) — Canadian company Blackberry announced that it is planning to lay off an unspecified number of employees from its device division.
The staff cuts are the result of company executives’ decision to consolidate Blackberry’s device software, hardware and applications business. The move will be “impacting a number of employees around the world,” the company acknowledged in a press release.
Though the Waterloo-based smartphone company launched a number of new devices over the last fiscal year, its market share continues to shrink — currently commanding a paltry 0.3 percent. Over the last half-decade, Blackberry has slowly been pushed aside by Apple, Samsung and a range of smaller phone manufacturers.
Now, the company is trying to refocus its efforts in other areas — investing resources in mobility management technologies and other systems services for businesses.
Executives believe business technology, messaging, security and other enterprise-focused services offer the company the best chance to reestablish itself as a industry leader.
A reallocation of resources and internal restructuring, Blackberry officials said, will “best enable us to capitalize on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business.”
The changes are being billed as the company’s “next stage of the turnaround.”
While the company isn’t necessarily in dire straits (it was profitable in 2014), it believed by many to be unsustainable on its own — and essentially up for sale.
A number of Chinese companies have shown interest, including Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi, but because Blackberry provides and handles mobile technology for so many government agencies in Canada, any purchase agreement would face tremendous scrutiny by officials in Ontario.
A purchase bid by an American company would be much more welcome, and as recentreported in the Malaysian Digest, Microsoft is rumored to have offered $7 billion for the Canadian company.