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BlackBerry to Trim Workforce

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Going by the latest market buzz, Canadian handset maker, BlackBerry Ltd may slash nearly 40% of its present staff strength which constitute nearly 12,700 employees. In order to lower its mounting operating cost and to generate savings, the company will take this measure.

Once a smartphone market leader, BlackBerry has been constantly losing ground to Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) iOS and Google Inc.’s Android operating systems over the past few years.

Despite the launch of operating platform BB10, the company failed to revamp its smartphone business. In the last year, the company sold nearly 32.5 million smartphones as compared to Samsung Electronics’ 216 million and Apple Inc.’s 136 million handsets. Both, Samsung and Apple hold 30.3% and 19.1% global market share, respectively, while BlackBerry has a mere 4.6% market share in 2012.

In order to turnaround things as well as to boosts sales, BlackBerry will offer its popular BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) to Android users from Sep 21 and iPhone users from Sep 22. Moreover, the company has also launched its latest highly developed smartphone, BlackBerry Z30 based on BB10.2 platform.

Z30 with a 5-inch super amoled screen, features 1.7 GHz quad core processors, BlackBerry Priority Hub and a new antenna technology offering better connectivity. The device will be available in the U.K. and the Middle East from the next week.

Recently, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT - Free Report) is considering the acquisition of Nokia Corp’s struggling handset business for $7.2 billion (5.44 billion euros). The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders and regulators. Based on this assumption, most industry analysts anticipate BlackBerry to be up for sale by the end of 2013.
Currently, BlackBerry carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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