or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Still struggling, BlackBerry lays off 250 more employees
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Still struggling, BlackBerry lays off 250 more employees

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Things still aren't looking up for BlackBerry, as the struggling Canadian phone maker revealed Thursday it will lay off 250 more employees as part of a continuing plan to cut costs and rescale its operations.



BlackBerry made the job cuts earlier this week and confirmed the personnel decisions on Thursday in a statement to AllThingsD. The 250 employees worked at a Waterloo, Ontario, product-testing facility, and they are the latest among thousands that BlackBerry (n?e Research In Motion) has cut over the past few years.

The layoffs were not entirely without warning. BlackBerry confirmed during its annual shareholder meeting that ? following a dismal quarter that saw the firm losing $84 million ? more layoffs were coming. In the last fiscal year, BlackBerry has let go of more than 5,000 staff.

The shift in the smartphone market brought about by the entry of Apple's iPhone caught BlackBerry unprepared, and the phone maker has been struggling to adjust ever since. In its heyday, BlackBerry shipped upwards of 14 million phones in a quarter, but that number has fallen to just 6.8 million this past quarter, with the majority of those not even running the company's most recent operating system.

BlackBerry's attempts at responding to Apple's rise have failed repeatedly. The company lost half a billion dollars on its poorly-received PlayBook iPad competitor, and the head of the division that released that device is now leaving the company, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The release of BlackBerry 10 and the two flagship devices running the new operating system was meant to bring the company back to some form of relevance. Sales of those units, though, have apparently fizzled, leading to last quarter's disappointing numbers.

BlackBerry officials still cast the layoffs and restructurings as a means of creating a leaner, more efficient company.

?These employees were part of the New Product Testing Facility, a department that supports BlackBerry?s manufacturing and R&D efforts,? spokesman Alex Kinsella said. ?This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company correctly for new opportunities in mobile computing.?
post #2 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

BlackBerry officials still cast the layoffs and restructurings as a means of creating a leaner, more efficient company.

Translation: They're bullshitting with buzzword speak about what the real issues are.

post #3 of 32
BlackBerry was too late to modernize its mobile OS and hardware, and as a result, this has become a two-party race between Android and iOS. At this point, BlackBerry should rethink their strategy to offer software and services for third-party mobile hardware and OSes rather than develop their own. Become a software company, more or less.

Or, perhaps offer BlackBerry branded Android phones with BlackBerry software on it. As it currently stands though, BB10 was DOA.
post #4 of 32
Blackberry at best will survive as a niche player. Most likely it will cease to exist in a couple of years. I am so glad for having left before the boat was going to sink. When iPhone 4 was already out, most people at RIM were still in denial, people were still gloating about antenna gate. Now 3 years have passed, BB10 in many ways is still behind iPhone 1
post #5 of 32
So they previously fired people in marketing and sales, so their efforts there are less than they were before. Now, they're firing people in testing of new products, so they will lack some of their ability there as well.

Yup, this is they way a confident company acts.
post #6 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

So they previously fired people in marketing and sales, so their efforts there are less than they were before. Now, they're firing people in testing of new products, so they will lack some of their ability there as well.

Yup, this is they way a confident company acts.

But it looks great on the bottom line and the CEO will get a fat bonus for improving quarterly profits. Who needs stupid things like new product R&D and testing, anyway?

post #7 of 32
Sad, and I'd bet the farm that the ones that should've gotten fired didn't.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post

Translation: They're bullshitting with buzzword speak about what the real issues are.

Last year, Heins stated that they were looking for a suitor for the company, in other words, a buyer. Samsung was mentioned by some as negotiating with them, but Samsung denied it.

What they are doing looks to me to be preparing for a company sale. They have sold plant and equipment, offices, fired many thousands from every department. Have now finally discontinued the Playbook, the "professional" tablet, and are now firing people needed to sell and evaluate new products.

Meanwhile, despite all their problems, their cash and investments keep rising. Why would that be? Blackberry supporters like to point out that cash and investment as good news. News that the company is doing well. But it isn't. It's another sign that Heins is prepping the company for a sale. That cash is now a large portion of the value of the stock, and if they can keep it up, will continue to be. But they may not be able to continue that cash rise as sales continue to fall, and profits become more difficult to come by. And those profits? They're being driven not by sales, not by a high msrp, but by the elimination of plant and staff. Shortly, they will run out of things to sell, and people to fire.
post #9 of 32
This is more about making this pig look good to a new suitor
Prep for buyout
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
Reply
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
Reply
post #10 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Sad, and I'd bet the farm that the ones that should've gotten fired didn't.

At this point in time, it's too late. It doesn't really matter what they do. They're trying to become an MDM. An MDM is a company that supply's software and services to enhance security and overall usefulness of mobile devices to business and government. But the entire MDM industry now is about $500 million a year. So even if they were able to enter this, it wouldn't save the company.
post #11 of 32

Someone needs to put this one out of its misery it is the only humane thing to do at this time.

 

The Governments were BB last hold out and they have already made decision to move on. You know when governments which take years to makes simply decisions are acting faster than a company can figure out what to do you know you're done.

post #12 of 32
BB10 was their last gasp. I think we can safely stick a fork in them.
post #13 of 32

Time to turn the lights out.

Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
Mac user since August 1983.
Reply
post #14 of 32
Business world is like Competing in the field, there are only one first runner, sometimes you, sometimes me, but if you don't practice, keep it up, you are definitely not going to be first. But that's ok, it is hard to become first, even Lance Armstrong has his problem to become first. Let's hope BB remember who he was and keep it up, I don't want to see me using BB in 10 years future, but if one day I do, BB must be the best phone in the world! Cheers!
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by BwhAgain View Post

Blackberry at best will survive as a niche player. Most likely it will cease to exist in a couple of years. I am so glad for having left before the boat was going to sink. When iPhone 4 was already out, most people at RIM were still in denial, people were still gloating about antenna gate. Now 3 years have passed, BB10 in many ways is still behind iPhone 1

Good for you to see this. Sad for yet another bulk layoff. Too bad the company didn't act, right after the keynote on Jan 9, 2007,
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


Good for you to see this. Sad for yet another bulk layoff. Too bad the company didn't act, right after the keynote on Jan 9, 2007,

It is quite a shame since both them and Palm could still both have had a major presence in the industry and done some great new things had they not been blinded by their arrogance.

 

"PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."

 

One of the funniest CEO quotes of that decade.


Edited by MikeJones - 7/25/13 at 10:35am
post #17 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain J View Post

BB10 was their last gasp. I think we can safely stick a fork in them.

The good thing is that they had several post-iPhone years to make a run at a comeback. But the old management was in denial and/or slow to react. And, consider this: if a company as loved and dominant as Microsoft couldn't muscle their way out of single-digit mobile market share with Windows Phone 7 & 8, it's probably a bigger challenge than smaller & less diversified BlackBerry can handle. So yes, unless they can do better than "iPhone Clone+," it's lights out for them.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post


"PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in."

One of the funniest CEO quotes of that decade.

Don't forget the AllThingsD session, referencing iTunes on Windows:

"It's like giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell"
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
How to enter the Apple logo  on iOS:
/Settings/Keyboard/Shortcut and paste in  which you copied from an email draft or a note. Screendump
Reply
post #19 of 32

Well my buddies still have a job, likely because they're involved in QNX, which is still a successful product outside of BB. It was fun to attend Waterloo in the 80's - so much cool stuff came out of there.

Author of The Fuel Injection Bible

Reply

Author of The Fuel Injection Bible

Reply
post #20 of 32
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

These employees were part of the New Product Testing Facility ...

 

Cutting development of new products would 1. make the new product QA group redundant and 2. reduce expenses to make the company more attractive to potential buyers.

 

 


Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company correctly for new opportunities in mobile computing.
 

Translation: "We're cutting expenses to make the company more attractive to potential buyers."

BlackBerry has exactly two opportunities in mobile computing: a buyout or non-existence.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

Reply
post #21 of 32

I hope blackberry developers can find work on android or other java/C based platforms.  But it's time for BB to go.  They screwed customers for years with subpar functionality and only offered marginally better security.  Then they had the audacity to be bold about their "dominance" through the face of Jim Balsillie.  I hope to see better work from Ubuntu and Android to keep Apple on their toes.

Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

Reply

Apple increments product features one bite at a time...hence the logo. Want the next big thing? You're gonna have to pick another fruit from the Apple Tree.

Reply
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBlongz View Post

I hope blackberry developers can find work on android or other java/C based platforms.  But it's time for BB to go.  They screwed customers for years with subpar functionality and only offered marginally better security.  Then they had the audacity to be bold about their "dominance" through the face of Jim Balsillie.  I hope to see better work from Ubuntu and Android to keep Apple on their toes.

One if the problems was that their customers were very happy with that circumscribed feature set because it did what no other product at the time did, and did it well. That led to the complacency we saw later. Unfortunately, even now, they aren't constitutionally able to admit when things are going wrong, or that it's their fault. So we see them constantly blame external factors for their problems, though they rarely admit that they are problems.
post #23 of 32
500 this time, 500 next and so on and so forth
post #24 of 32
RIM wasn't caught off guard by the iPhone, they were downright ignorant. I know people who work(ed) at RIM when Apple introduced iPhone and they saw no virtue in what Apple was doing. Rather than understand what their competition was doing well, they chose to sit back and rant about everything it was doing wrong... as if these were things Apple was incapable of. This is about the worst mistake a business can make.

Nobody was caught off guard. They steered the ship straight into the rocks!
post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

BlackBerry was too late to modernize its mobile OS and hardware, and as a result, this has become a two-party race between Android and iOS. At this point, BlackBerry should rethink their strategy to offer software and services for third-party mobile hardware and OSes rather than develop their own. Become a software company, more or less.

Or, perhaps offer BlackBerry branded Android phones with BlackBerry software on it. As it currently stands though, BB10 was DOA.

Instead of that Blackberry should strike up a deal with Microsoft to use Windows Phone.

Blackberry's clients likely wouldn't want Android but would probably would be alright with a Windows OS.

Yeah Blackberry would probably still be a single digit player but at least they'd be more relevant with Windows than with what they have now.

They could potentially sell their software division and make a pretty chunk of change for their various messaging patents.
post #26 of 32
Blackberry should marginalized their entire phone business and look for a new market for its technology, such as mobile medical devices or in-vehicle computer systems. These are both areas Apple is not likely to get into (aside from interacting with them, they're not going to sell medical devices or cars) and they require greater security than Android can offer.

The vehicle computer systems would be particularly well suited to Blackberry as this is the origin of the code at the core of the BB10 OS, which is already a real time OS for vehicle computer systems.

Bottom line is they can never recover their previous position, just look at Palm. They need to know when to fold them and when to run.
post #27 of 32
I guess this is one of the major signs that the non touch screen non smartphone industry is gone and that if a company had not started they will ultimately fail.
post #28 of 32
Where's the recycled clothing bin ?
I have an "I survived the iPhone" tee shirt to dispose of.
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post

Or, perhaps offer BlackBerry branded Android phones with BlackBerry software on it. As it currently stands though, BB10 was DOA.

This wouldn't have helped, unless you mean a Samsung phone with Blackberry branding. The race isn't between Apple and Android, it's Apple and Samsung.
post #30 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgfsteed View Post

RIM wasn't caught off guard by the iPhone, they were downright ignorant. I know people who work(ed) at RIM when Apple introduced iPhone and they saw no virtue in what Apple was doing. Rather than understand what their competition was doing well, they chose to sit back and rant about everything it was doing wrong... as if these were things Apple was incapable of. This is about the worst mistake a business can make.

Nobody was caught off guard. They steered the ship straight into the rocks!

I recall both Microsoft and Nokia were boldly confident that business as usual would continue after the iPhone. Google and Palm reacted more quickly, and Palm stumbled on execution and delivery.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply
post #31 of 32

Six years ago Apple announced the iPhone, and handset executives, who should have been the most aware of the significants, laughed at the news. They could not even imagine what their customers wanted, and figured that the market would continue to accept what they were given. 

 

As late as this week Apple executives had to remind the press and analysts that Apple's goal is to produce the best products to delight their customers and the bottom line will take care of itself. What other tech company trusts their customers to make quality decisions???

 

I remember the RIM Playbook advertisements promoting the product as running "Flash" and being "multitasking" while it was unable to do email. They thought their customers were ignorant and could be misdirected. 

 

I remember the Palm phone company thinking that by announcing their product at the right time ahead of the new iPhone that they could disrupt Apple's game plan. It was arrogant to think their customers would forget the years of past failures of Palm to do what they promised. That somehow their cheap plastic phones could persevere in a market with a high quality competitor. 

 

So, it was with surprise when Microsoft tried to do with "song and dance" what Apple does with beautiful user experiences with the products. This was followed with their "baffle them with BS" ads, where we get to see how you can watch a movie on the Surface Pro while creating a PowerPoint. Oh, and don't pay attention to all the BS about needed RAM and pricing.

 

It's my thinking that Apple treats their customers with respect instead of contempt for their intelligence.

"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
Reply
post #32 of 32

In a sense, it's too bad for BB, because they are really good at certain parts of phone design, and I would hate for that expertise to get fragmented.  Their cellular radio systems (including amplifiers, receivers and antennas) are better than any other manufacturer's.  The Z10 is no exception; it can place calls where the iPhone and Nexus 4 can't even find a network.

 

Software-wise, BB10 seems to try to be different for the sake of being different. I do like the Hub feature.  Way better than the Notification Center.

 

I currently have three phone I switch between: an iPhone 5, a BB Z10 and a Nexus 4. Of all three, I prefer the hardware of the BB10. Software-wise, iOS is probably still the way to go. Android is a bit of a Jack of all trades, but at 299$ unlocked, the N4 is a pretty good value.

 

If Apple can hire the BB hardware guys to work on the guts of what actually makes it a phone, that would be one killer device.
 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › Still struggling, BlackBerry lays off 250 more employees