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BlackBerry Move To Lay Off Up To 40% Of Its Staff  
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27126 posts, RR: 60
Posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1686 times:

Things do not seem to be getting any better at BB. A huge amount of staff rumoured to be on the latest cut.


Up to 40% of the struggling smartphone firm's staff could be laid off by the end of the year, it is reported.

BlackBerry is preparing a round of deep staff cuts by the end of 2013 and could lay off as many as 40% of its employees, it is claimed.

The job cuts will happen across the board and are likely occur in waves, according to the Wall Street Journal.

BlackBerry, which once dominated the corporate smartphone arena, has struggled in recent years to stop rapid market share losses to rivals like Apple and Samsung.

In January, BlackBerry unveiled new phones running a revamped operating system called BlackBerry 10 designed to better compete, but its market share continues to lag.

http://news.sky.com/story/1143555/bl...rry-to-lay-off-40-percent-of-staff

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinecasinterest From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4673 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (1 year 1 month 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1686 times:

Sad to hear, but the writing has been on the wall for awhile now in regards to blackberry.


Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1546 times:

With the company being up for sale, this is not surprising considering they've been slashing the workforce for a few years now. I'm guessing a lot of sales and marketing folks will be among those getting a pink slip, as at least here in the US, the marketing of the Z10 and Q10 has been pretty marginal at best, which is reflected by the sales numbers for those devices. It was thought that the Q10 would be a good seller since it is more like the traditional BlackBerry design. It was not a good sign when Sprint opted against selling the Z10 and opted to wait presumably for the Z30 (which was introduced this week, but no dates have been announced by any US carrier [Verizon has teased with a coming soon.]) and only recently started selling the Q10. The entry-level Q5 is rumored to be headed to the US, but no street date or even carrier has been mentioned. Even stranger is the fact that BlackBerry is releasing another BB7 device (BlackBerry 9720).

Even I'm now skeptical of the company's long-term future as an independent company. The rumors of a partnership with someone like Samsung, Lenovo or Sony have been going on for years with nothing ever happening. I'm beginning to think that the company will start selling off assets (they have assets like QNX, The Astonishing Tribe that would be of interest to a number of tech companies or private investors.) and exit the device market within the next year (if not earlier). There are some rumored road maps for 2014 that have been leaked, but at this point, who knows if this will come to fruition. I bought a Z10 about four months ago and have been happy with it and really hope that it won't be my last BlackBerry phone. Part of me hopes that BlackBerry opts to license out their software to another company to build the phones. BlackBerry in the end may end up like Sega, a software company. BlackBerry Messenger goes cross-platform this weekend, as BBM for Android is slated for release on Saturday and BBM for iOS is slated for release on Sunday. That is a significant event, as BBM is something quite a few ex-BlackBerry users miss with their devices and something that a few years ago under the previous CEOs would have been unthinkable.


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 3, posted (1 year 1 month 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1532 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 2):

Any idea as to why nobody has bothered buying BB? Is there something limiting about their OS?



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (1 year 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1522 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 3):
Any idea as to why nobody has bothered buying BB? Is there something limiting about their OS?

The market left BlackBerry behind. Back when the first iPhone and Android devices hit the market, Research In Motion did not view them as serious threats to BlackBerry's domination of the smartphone market. Their response was to put out some less than impressive new devices and some that was outright pieces of junk as they relied on BlackBerry's security as a key selling point to government and business accounts, as the iPhone and Android lacked the security features BlackBerry had and still has. By that point, it became more and more commonplace for people to have a personal smartphone in addition to their work-issued BlackBerry (Now more and more companies are BYOD.). Since BlackBerry has been primarily a business-oriented device, most app developers didn't consider BlackBerry versions of their app. What made it worse was that BlackBerry has some many different operating systems that are incompatible with one another. Not all OS5/6 apps are not fully compatible with OS7 devices, OS7 apps cannot be run on OS5/6 devices, PlayBook OS apps cannot be run on OS5/6/7 devices (but some can run on BB10 devices) and BB10 apps can only be run on BB10 devices (and some can run on the PlayBook). Most app developers are not going to develop 2 or 3 versions of their app for various versions of a company's lineup. What's sad is that the older version of the Fly Delta app for OS5/6/7 is a better app than the one for BB10 (which is pretty much their mobile site in app form).

BlackBerry was overtaken in sales by Apple barely three years ago and in markets like the US, they're fighting with Windows Phones for the leftovers. In January 2010, about 3 million of the estimated 42.7 million smartphones in the US were Android devices and 18 million of them were BlackBerry devices. Within a year, Android would overtake BlackBerry and as of January of 2013, there were 67.68 million smartphones running Android compared to 7.63 million BlackBerry devices. Between the iPhone and Android, that's a pretty significant fall from grace.

BlackBerry has tried really hard with BB10, but it's a few years too late. Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis should have been fired or forced to step down as co-CEOs about 2 to 3 years prior to when they stepped down, as they slowed the development of what became BB10 and rushed the PlayBook to market without a number of previously announced features (It had been out for about 10 months before a long-delayed major update to the OS was finally released that brought the device to what was originally promised.). One of the other problems was that they priced the PlayBook at the same price points as the iPod, which was suicidal. They eventually dropped the price several months after the initial release (though not at the fire sale prices like we say HP do with their failed tablet). As of June of 2013, BlackBerry had sold 2.5 million PlayBooks worldwide since April 2011. They never even sold the 3G and 4G LTE versions outside of the UK and Canada. Thorsten Heins inherited a huge mess and has done fairly well with what he was dealt, but unfortunately, public perception is a pretty tough thing to overcome, especially since many people had assumed that BlackBerry was out of business.


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8969 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1516 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 4):

Thank you for that, very informative.

I wonder if a company like Amazon would consider buying them out.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (1 year 1 month 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1504 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 5):
I wonder if a company like Amazon would consider buying them out.

I haven't heard Amazon's name being mentioned as a possible suitor, but it makes sense. Amazon has been rumored to be getting into the smartphone business for the last few years (pretty much ever since the Kindle Fire was first released) and maybe this would be a marriage that works out for both companies.


Side story: Amazon "borrowed" from BlackBerry in the design of the original Kindle Fire. When Amazon decided to get into the tablet market, they ended up going to Quanta Computer for the design, as their own in-house Kindle team pretty much wanted nothing to do with a tablet version of the Kindle at the time. Quanta had practically designed the BlackBerry PlayBook for RIM (since RIM had no experience in designing one) and retained the design in the process. When Amazon came calling and needed a tablet ASAP, Quanta recycled the PlayBook's template sans the PlayBook OS and Amazon ended up having to cut down on some specs in order to keep costs down and one of the cuts was the type of SoC used on the device.


User currently offlineBill142 From Australia, joined Aug 2004, 8459 posts, RR: 8
Reply 7, posted (1 year 1 month 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1468 times:

The only thing an potential suitor for blackberry would want is their patents. But they're all waiting for Blackberry to get the edge to buy it up at a rock bottom price.

User currently onlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined exactly 10 years ago today! , 2780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1423 times:

Wow!

Blackberry pretty much threw up all over itself today. Down 16%.

They halted trading in the stock this afternoon due to news coming out. They announced the rumored job cuts of 4,500 employees, about 36% of the workforce, and then pre-announced their earnings are going to be horrible when officially released next week.

They're taking an up to $960 million write down on their inventory because they can't sell all those Z10 and Q10 phones. Cash position is shrinking due to restructuring (including severance from the last round of layoffs). Handset sales way, way below what analysts expected.

Angry talking heads on Canadian tv that they waited so late in the day to announce, as there were only 25 minutes of trading left after the halt ended.

I'm in Canada right now and there's a lot of talk about Lenovo maybe being a good partner for Blackberry.

I actually wonder if Microsoft might be interested in some of the intellectual property and the connections in enterprise. Might be able to pair it nicely with their recently acquired Nokia assets and take a big swing at the corporate accounts with Windows phone. Take the best business features of Blackberry and combine it with the Windows operating system.



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlineSIA747Megatop From Singapore, joined Apr 2012, 308 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1419 times:

This is such a shame, their current BB10 products are fantastic. I absolutely love the Z10 and Q10 and was planning on getting the Z30 (or its replacement) after my iPhone 5 contract expires.

Jim Cramer on CNBC mentioned just the other day "Buy broken stocks when they're cheap, NOT broken companies." I'm guessing the remaining shareholders are looking at the company as a takeover target.



That's Mr. Bovine Joni to you.
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1393 times:

They've also announced they're exiting the consumer market and are going to focus on the enterprise market. Good luck with that, considering a number of longtime customers have bailed in the last few years.....

BlackBerry Quits on Consumer and 4,500 Workers

Well I guess when I decide to get a new phone in a few years, I may break down and finally get an iPhone. I'm sure there's a number of ticked off BB10 buyers looking to trade their device in and switch. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the cell phone companies target BB10 owners in some sort of trade in program.

Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 9):

This is such a shame, their current BB10 products are fantastic. I absolutely love the Z10 and Q10 and was planning on getting the Z30 (or its replacement) after my iPhone 5 contract expires.

I'm guessing that the Z30 will still be released to consumers since they announced it and a number of cell companies have already announced street dates for it. More than likely, it's the final new BlackBerry device sold to consumers.


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4076 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1371 times:
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Fast-forward three years and, if they're still around, Blackberry will be out of the consumer and hardware markets and focus instead on corporate mobility software and services. First hint is Enterprise Service 10, which can manage Android and iOS devices as well as Blackberry, second hint is BBM being released for other platforms. If the rumors are true, the third hint is a slew of other popular Blackberry services being turned into apps for other platforms too, all managed remotely from the Enterprise Service console of course.

Basically, if all goes well, in a few years time, Blackberry will allow Fortune 500 companies to manage whichever device their employees choose to use for work.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6732 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1369 times:

BB never had the time to really take off here, although I've seen a few (but not recently), however I'm wondering if they're still selling that security deal ? Considering that the servers are in North America, I don't think anybody serious really believed in that, certainly when Obama back in 2008 was told to give up his, it was pretty clear that if you wanted secure coms, you had to use something else.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (1 year 1 month 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 1367 times:

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 11):

Fast-forward three years and, if they're still around, Blackberry will be out of the consumer and hardware markets and focus instead on corporate mobility software and services. First hint is Enterprise Service 10, which can manage Android and iOS devices as well as Blackberry, second hint is BBM being released for other platforms. If the rumors are true, the third hint is a slew of other popular Blackberry services being turned into apps for other platforms too, all managed remotely from the Enterprise Service console of course.

Basically, if all goes well, in a few years time, Blackberry will allow Fortune 500 companies to manage whichever device their employees choose to use for work.

Not to mention that their QNX subsidiary has a lot of projects unrelated to BlackBerry that they can fall back on.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 12):

BB never had the time to really take off here, although I've seen a few (but not recently), however I'm wondering if they're still selling that security deal ? Considering that the servers are in North America, I don't think anybody serious really believed in that, certainly when Obama back in 2008 was told to give up his, it was pretty clear that if you wanted secure coms, you had to use something else.

With BES, the servers are actually wherever the company using BES decides to put it. BES is essentially a VPN for BlackBerry devices. BIS uses the cell provider's network to access BlackBerry's servers, which are located not just in North America.

At the time Obama entered office, BlackBerry was the smartphone of choice with the Federal government because of it's security. Obama being forced to give his up was because BlackBerry despite it's security, didn't meet the strict security standards of the NSA in regards to top-secret communications. He still has one, as evidenced by a this photo taken last year by a Time Magazine photographer for an article:

http://timethemoment.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/cs_obama_20121212_018.jpg?w=735


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12742 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1241 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 2):
I'm guessing a lot of sales and marketing folks will be among those getting a pink slip, as at least here in the US, the marketing of the Z10 and Q10 has been pretty marginal at best, which is reflected by the sales numbers for those devices.

As your article points out, BB marketing has been ineffective for a long time. That happens a lot in tech companies. It's hard to "eat your young" as the sad saying goes. As for the current gen products, it's very hard to get traction. M$ has some small chance because they are throwing a lot of money at marketing. For instance watching my usual dose of NFL football I saw a lot of WIndows mobile ads. It's pretty clear that BB doesnt have the $$$ to do something like that.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 8):
I actually wonder if Microsoft might be interested in some of the intellectual property and the connections in enterprise. Might be able to pair it nicely with their recently acquired Nokia assets and take a big swing at the corporate accounts with Windows phone. Take the best business features of Blackberry and combine it with the Windows operating system.

I think it would require someone with M$'s resources to make a go of it, and indeed the enterprise relationships that M$ has would help a lot.

One problem is that M$ is not particularly good at integrating software it acquires into its product base. Sure there are some examples of success, but many examples of failure. The senior execs would have to be all over this to make sure the internal fiefdoms cooperate.

The second problem is as you say many corporations are going to BYOD. Senior people with enough clout generally will refuse to carry a second phone and most of these folks are already Android or Apple users. The M$ ecosystem just doesn't have enough going for it to lure these decision makers. Companies do not want to pay for devices for less senior people. The BYOD market has a lot of momentum to it, and there isn't a lot of reason to want a M$ phone for your primary device.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineBraniff747SP From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 2997 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1186 times:

They just got bought for $4.7 billion by an investment firm.

We'll see if this changes anything; I'm doubtful.



The 747 will always be the TRUE queen of the skies!
User currently offlinegarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5404 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1177 times:

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 15):
They just got bought for $4.7 billion by an investment firm.

We'll see if this changes anything; I'm doubtful.

As well you should be. Anybody remember when Palm got purchased for $1.2B by HP? Initial thoughts of WebOS powered PCs, printers, tablets, and more WebOS smartphones were abuzz. Then HP unceremoniously killed the brand. I'm fairly certain the same will happen to RIM here. In retrospect I wonder how much crow Jim Balsillie is eating these days, especially when he was sure he should be pretty much gifted an NHL team because hey, he was Mr. Blackberry.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1162 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):
As your article points out, BB marketing has been ineffective for a long time. That happens a lot in tech companies. It's hard to "eat your young" as the sad saying goes. As for the current gen products, it's very hard to get traction. M$ has some small chance because they are throwing a lot of money at marketing. For instance watching my usual dose of NFL football I saw a lot of WIndows mobile ads. It's pretty clear that BB doesnt have the $$$ to do something like that.

They spent money on a Super Bowl ad, which was a waste of money since the Z10 wasn't released in the US until the latter part of March (the delay was due to "extended carrier testing"). Had the Z10 come out the Tuesday after the Super Bowl ad, things may have been better.

BlackBerry has sponsored stuff on the NHL Network, which is not unexpected considering the channel airs on both the US and Canada and Canada is still a decent market for them.

I did see a few ads for the Z10 and Q10 in the local paper, but little to no mention in the weekly ads for Best Buy. I've even seen AT&T ads featuring the Q10 at MARTA bus shelters around town. AT&T has also put ads promoting the Z10 and Q10 in elevators (some office buildings have little TV screens with news and weather stuff along with ads). This was done at the carrier level, not at the corporate level. BlackBerry did have their teams out in about as part of their "Keep Moving" tour in the US. They even had reps at some of the Delta Sky Clubs (I snagged a nice microfiber cloth as well as promo code to up the storage size on my Box account.). But there weren't a lot of folks checking out the Z10 that day when I was in that Sky Club at ATL. I had been debating on whether to get a Z10 or wait a few more weeks for the Q10 to come out, but having a hands-on with the Z10 made my decision (I had a chance a few days later to play around with a Q10 as one of my buddies from Canada got one a few days earlier.). BlackBerry even ran a promotion on Delta for about two months in which those with BlackBerry devices got free Gogo access. There were even ads for BlackBerry onboard flights.

Part of the problem is that at the retail level, there wasn't much support and I remember going into a few Best Buy locations prior to the Z10 release in the US and you wouldn't even know it was about to come out. Even at authorized retailers, there was very little effort to promote or push BlackBerry. Some places stuck them in a corner at the back of the store.....

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 15):

They just got bought for $4.7 billion by an investment firm.

We'll see if this changes anything; I'm doubtful.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...-11e3-ad0d-b7c8d2a594b9_story.html

Fairfax Financial is considered to be the Berkshire Hathaway of Canada and already held a 10% stake in the company. They are primarily an insurance firm, but their investment arms have some pretty deep portfolios including major US companies like Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Berkshire Hathaway, Intel, Kraft Foods and Viacom.


User currently offlinemax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1072 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1137 times:

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 15):

They just got bought for $4.7 billion by an investment firm.

We'll see if this changes anything; I'm doubtful.
Quoting srbmod (Reply 17):
Fairfax Financial is considered to be the Berkshire Hathaway of Canada and already held a 10% stake in the company. They are primarily an insurance firm, but their investment arms have some pretty deep portfolios including major US companies like Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Berkshire Hathaway, Intel, Kraft Foods and Viacom.

The New York Times has an interesting analysis of this announcement...basically it's just a letter of intent with no commitment by any party to do anything. Letter of intents may be typical in the world of commercial aircraft purchase, but in the world of mergers and acquisitions, this move is very unusual. This type of stuff is usually announced when the parties have firm commitments and the money is lined up. The article is saying that today's announcement is a desparate move on the part of BlackBerry. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/09/...r-blackberry-thats-not-yet-a-deal/



All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
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