updated 03:31 pm EDT, Wed September 18, 2013
Layoff report follows Z30 introductions
BlackBerry is reportedly planning to reduce its workforce by approximately 40 percent before the end of the year. The report comes on the heels of the company's latest device announcement, the Z30 handset, and ongoing talk of a potential buyout as the company continues to struggle in the smartphone market.
The layoffs are said to affect all of the company's internal divisions, with losses expected to include several thousand employees, unnamed sources told The Wall Street Journal (sub. required).
The latest leak echoes a separate report that surfaced last week, as the company reportedly cut its US sales staff by more than half. More than 5,000 employees were terminated in the previous financial year, cutting away at the 17,000-strong workforce that was present two years ago when the company held a significant portion of the US smartphone market.
BlackBerry appears to have focused its efforts on the few markets where its devices are still competitive, launching the Z30 initially in the UK and Middle East rather than beginning with a North American release.
Recent buyout reports suggest potential suitors may be more interested in splitting up the company's operations, with separate interest in BB OS 10, the BlackBerry Messenger platform, or its patent portfolio.