Things have looked bleak for BlackBerry for quite a while now, with Apple and Google eating its lunch both in the enterprise and consumer markets. As Microsoft’s Windows Phone also begins to take aim at what was once a proud BlackBerry market share, the Canadian firm was rumored to be on the verge of a reshuffle that would see approximately 40% of its workforce cut. Today, that news was confirmed in a press release by BlackBerry themselves.
A short time ago BlackBerry confirmed that 4,500 members of its staff would be losing their job by year’s end, which does tie in with the rumored 40 figure that has been doing the rounds of late. The move comes in an attempt to try and arrest an alarming fall from grace that sees the smartphone maker expected to post a $1 billion loss for Q2 2014.
Less than stellar sales of its latest line of smartphones as well as the failed PlayBook tablet has left BlackBerry staring into the abyss, and with rumors of BlackBerry buyouts and mergers abound, it seems the head honchos at BlackBerry are ready to take action.
As part of the cull, BlackBerry will refocus on its enterprise smartphone offerings for which it was once so well known. With its consumer offerings middling at best, the firm obviously feels that it would be best to set its sights on something that it believes it knows best – dominating the enterprise market.
The problem the company formerly known as RIM will face is that the enterprise market is no longer the same one that it once dominated. Both iOS and Android are now much more business-friendly than they once were, and with users asking their companies to support their own iPhones and Galaxy devices, it’s debatable whether there is room for a company that focuses on doing what the IT manager wants, rather than the person that has to use it.
None of this will be the slightest bit interesting to the folks who will be looking for new jobs shortly, and while $1 billion sounds like Monopoly money to most of us, it’s always worth remembering the human cost of such falls from grace.
What do you think about the news? Do you think this is the end of the era for BlackBerry? Or, is there a light at the end of the tunnel?