Some more troubling news for the company formerly known as RIM comes today, with reports stating that BlackBerry has laid off 250 of its workers at a product testing facility in Canada. The layoffs were made in the R&D department, where employees work to test and develop new technologies. BlackBerry is making these cuts as part of its financial strategy to remain competitive and cut costs.
According to CBC News, BlackBerry employees were given notice on Tuesday.
“As time progresses we feel that layoffs are inevitable. As a Canadian I feel really sad for the people who are impacted. BlackBerry is a Canadian icon still — it employs a lot of people and it’s a bit of a shame. We think management still has an opportunity between now and the end of the year to do something,” – Peter Misek, Analyst, Jeffries
BlackBerry launched its new handset the Z10 and BlackBerry 10 OS back in February, as an attempt to reinvent the brand and make it more competitive with the likes of Android and iOS handsets. BlackBerry has since released a few more handsets, the QWERTY keyboard touting Q10 and Q5. BlackBerry is rumored to be releasing a new higher end handset soon as well, the A10, which should arrive later this fall.
The move underscores the multitude of problems the company has been having of late, with sales of the BlackBerry 10 devices occurring more infrequently than anticipated. Just last week, a number of retailers slashed the price of the BlackBerry Z10 by almost $100 in an attempt to move the units. While BlackBerry reported higher than anticipated earnings last quarter, the company is still facing tough financial times.
We will see how BlackBerry does after the holiday season, when the company is expected to release some new devices.