Blackberry returns to its business roots, again

Blackberry has again declared it is returning to its roots and will focus on business users after announcing it will report a huge operating loss this week that will lead to up to 4,500 jobs being cut.

BlackBerry Q10 Lily Cole
Model Lily Cole in a Blackberry ad

The company says it is expects to post a $950m loss when it reports for its first fiscal quarter later this week, blaming the “increasingly competitive business environment” that has seen it it lose share to Samsung and Apple.

In an attempt to reverse its flagging fortunes, the company says it will “refocus on enterprise and prosumer market, offering end-to-end solutions, including  hardware, software and services.”

It is the second time in in less than two years the handset maker has announced it will pull away from the consumer market. However, it subsequently denied an announcement by CEO Thorsten Heins in March 2012 that it would target business users meant it was giving up on the consumer market altogether. 

The company says it will also reduce its workforce by 4,500 in a bid to reduce operating losses. It has not been revealed whether marketing jobs will be lost but it seems likely as the aim is to cut operating expenditure by 50 per cent by the end of the first fiscal quarter in 2015.

Heins said in a statement: “We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes announced today to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability. 

“Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user. This puts us squarely on target with the customers that helped build BlackBerry into the leading brand today for enterprise security, manageability and reliability.”

Blackberry effectively put itself up for sale month, announcing it was exploring a number of “strategic alternatives” including the possibility of a joint venture, technology partnerships or a sale of the company.

Despite it financial woes, it launched what it boldly claimed is its “best smartphone” yet, the Z30, only last week. 

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