Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Blackberry Businesses Cellphones

BlackBerry Reportedly Prepping To Slash Workforce By 40 Percent 89

Posted by Soulskill
from the sorry-about-your-luck dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "BlackBerry is preparing to slice up to 40 percent of its workforce by the end of 2013, according to anonymous sources speaking to The Wall Street Journal. The layoffs will reportedly shrink the company's overall operations and affect every department. A BlackBerry spokesperson refused to comment on the matter to the Journal. BlackBerry bet the company on the success of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system, but its first two 'hero' devices running the software — the Z10 and Q10 — failed to make much of an impact when they arrived on the market earlier this year. On Sept. 18, BlackBerry also unveiled the larger Z30, which runs an updated version of BlackBerry 10 and features a five-inch AMOLED touchscreen and larger battery. Once a dominant player in the mobile-device space, BlackBerry seemed helpless to respond as Google Android and Apple iOS slowly but surely chewed away its market-share over several quarters. As corporations adopted BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies, a flood of personal iPhones and Android devices helped displace BlackBerry as a mainstay of executives and office workers."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

BlackBerry Reportedly Prepping To Slash Workforce By 40 Percent

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It seems like they're slashing their workforce every few months. How many people are left?

    • After this? Three. They're kicking out the two other remaining people.
    • I actually have a younger friend that joined them straight out of college. Quite a few of us felt that the writing was already on the wall in 2009 when he was considering them, so we tried to dissuade him from accepting their offer, but he did it anyway and then just settled in. Again and again, we tried to encourage him to leave or explore other options since he was a talented kid who could have gone to any number of places, but he kept insisting they had some cool stuff in the pipeline. We later found out

      • by ImdatS (958642)

        Thanks for the insight. Unfortunately, that's exactly what I have observed working for many big companies in my life: people join, after a while they drink the local kool-aid and then stop being critical.

        I usually never criticize my company outside of the company itself. But within the company towards my superiors or peers, I'm quite critical of what we do and how we do it - provided I have an idea of how we could do it better.

        I have experienced, many times, that at certain point group-thinking starts becom

      • You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink. You're probably better off losing contact with him.
      • by stewbee (1019450)
        So I was working for a small start up that was eventually bought by RIM. I left a few months afterwards because I passionately hated my boss (same boss as before the merger so nothing related directly to RIM). As a casual observer, I can see why your friend would want to stay. They had great benefits! Not sure if you are in Canada or US, but I am in the US. They were offering me 20 days of vacation a year. This is almost unheard of here now. Additionally, they were giving bonuses every year. The company its
    • The same number of people, just with fewer limbs.
  • by BulletMagnet (600525) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @04:25PM (#44887485)

    RIM (or Blackberry as they're known by now) rested on its laurels for far too long and let Android and iOS take over. I'm surprised they haven't just put the company up for sale and crossed their fingers someone would foolishly put in an offer.

    • by larwe (858929)
      Actually, they kinda have put the company up for sale. http://techcrunch.com/2013/08/12/blackberry-says-its-looking-for-a-buyer-or-a-willing-partner-forms-special-committee-to-explore-strategic-alternatives/ [techcrunch.com] (Some other article on this topic quoted BB as saying they are "willing to entertain the idea of acquisition", and the author commented snarkily that this is meant in the same way that his three-year-old daughter is "willing to entertain the idea of being given a pony").
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I see a number of parallels with Novell over the network server OS wars in the early 1990s. Novell had the business, and MS was a joke with WfW 3.11. However, things changed, and even though Novell moved to a better directory server approach, Windows NT's system of domains were muscling Novell out because one just needed to buy the OS and CALs, not the OS, the NOS, then the client licenses, as well as third party client software.

      I see similar with RIM over the past few years. They used to completely own

      • To be fair, the Novell comparison doesn't exactly match up... Novell at least (to their credit) diversified a little, and went all-in to Linux (albeit too late).

        Blackberry has done none of this, and (to extend the poker analogy) merely doubled-down on their own increasingly lousy hand.

        • by ArhcAngel (247594)

          To be fair, the Novell comparison doesn't exactly match up... Novell at least (to their credit) diversified a little, and went all-in to Linux (albeit too late).

          Blackberry has done none of this, and (to extend the poker analogy) merely doubled-down on their own increasingly lousy hand.

          Same misinformed song different singer.

          BlackBerry bought The Astonishing Tribe [www.tat.se] (They designed the UI for the G1) to redesign the BlackBerry UI.
          They also bought QNX [qnx.com] to be the base for the new BB OS 10.
          In fact they were quite aggressive in acquiring [wikipedia.org] properties to bolster their brand.

          On top of that they have diversified the BES [blackberry.com] (BlackBerry Enterprise Services) to secure iOS and Android devices.

          The problem BlackBerry has is mind share and they haven't got it anymore. The new ecosystem is actually quit

          • BlackBerry bought The Astonishing Tribe [www.tat.se] (They designed the UI for the G1) to redesign the BlackBerry UI.
            They also bought QNX [qnx.com] to be the base for the new BB OS 10.
            In fact they were quite aggressive in acquiring [wikipedia.org] properties to bolster their brand.

            All of those acquisitions do nothing (as in, bupkis) outside of the mobile device realm that Blackberry occupies. Nothing.

            Find me something that can be used outside of that realm, and I'll be happy to concede.

            Novell's acquisitions gave it reach into selling OSes (SuSE), email (GroupWise), and stuff well outside of their original directory/auth stuff. Hell, they even own UNIX (as in, SysV).

            On top of that they have diversified the BES [blackberry.com] (BlackBerry Enterprise Services) to secure iOS and Android devices.

            Sure - way the hell after Microsoft beat them to it with ActiveSync, and by the time they even bothered, BlackBerry had

            • by ArhcAngel (247594)
              You have no idea what you are talking about. QNX gave them instant OS reach into industrial, medical, and automotive realms. In fact Automotive is the next big battleground and BlackBerry is in a key position to capitalize [youtu.be] since QNX is already installed in an impressive array of auto makers [qnx.com] cars already. I'm not saying they WILL capitalize but until Apple launched the iPod every industry expert was singing their death knell.
      • by swb (14022)

        Novell's problem was less about licensing than the fact that Netware was a "feature phone" OS that did file sharing very well and general applications very poorly. This was fine until the rise of the internet when people needed a general application platform for servers, and NT did that AND file sharing.

        Novell's NDS is STILL a superior directory service, but AD was good enough and with the ability to run server apps, directory services and file sharing over IP networks, NT was a pretty easy choice.

        Had Nove

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm surprised they haven't just put the company up for sale and crossed their fingers someone would foolishly put in an offer.

      They did. Nobody wants to buy. Everyone is waiting for their evaluation to tank even further before putting in an offer for their patent portfolio (which is about the only thing of value they have left). Their next quarterly report, which is coming up soon, is going to be horrid and that will drive down their value. Someone might jump then but, more likely, everyone will wait until the second report which shows all the signs of also being terrible which will further drive down the purchase price before maki

      • Why is everyone modding this down? This analysis is on the mark. RIM was a good company and had a good product but they got lazy and were out innovated by Apple & Google. The end is near, it's only a question of whether someone buys the company or someone buys the assets after the collapse. I'm guessing it's the latter.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      RIM, like many companies before them and certainly after them as well, at least subconciously felt they no longer had to innovate to stay successful. They felt like they had a lock on the corporate market and that what they were providing was exactly what the corporate environment wanted and needed.

      They failed to realize that personal devices would have as big a role in driving the enterprise as they did. Employees started carrying two phones, their personal device and a Blackberry that was corporate appr

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Up until recently I worked at a global company that still held a strict blackberrry only policy (expect for upper execs who could push to have their iPhones).

        I think the problem is that most of those big companies also moved to eliminate phones entirely for anybody but execs, and everybody else had to bring-their-own. Well, how many employees are going to go spend their OWN money to buy a blackberry? Now IT is under pressure by local managers who have no power to buy phones but want their workforce to still be connected, and thus the enterprise features just weren't as high a priority.

    • by pete6677 (681676)
      AOL will probably buy them. It would make a perfect addition to their already sinking ship.
    • This. They saw the touchscreens take over and did nothing. But who can blame them after blackberries with keyboards replaced the touchscreen Palms that were oh-so-popular early to mid 2000s. But when they saw the iPhone come out they really should have kicked it into high gear after seeing how Apple completely dominated MP3 players with the greatest of ease.
    • Perhaps Microsoft will buy them. Judging from their past investments, they seem more than willing to pony up big $$$ for formerly important cell phone manufacturers that are quickly losing market share.

    • Prospective buyers are likely waiting for a large shrink in expenses, such as payroll.

      Samsung and Apple don't need all those employees that make phones that nobody buys. They already have employees that make phones people DO buy.

  • I used to love my BlackBerry.. I bet they would have wished to have been bought by Microsoft instead.
  • by bellers (254327) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @04:29PM (#44887525) Homepage

    Film at 11.

  • Now the place is a pig sty, we're all starving, but we're on budge!
  • by sl4shd0rk (755837) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @04:33PM (#44887589)

    Will be seated at a table for 6 at Chilis, sucking up margaritas while lamenting how badly the BB CEOs screwed up their awesome market position by not even being able to beat Microsoft to market with a smartphone.

  • RIM ended up known as "lawsuits in motion" for their dependence on the government-granted monopolies we call intellectual "property." They depended on these things instead of innovating and improving their products and staying ahead of the pack. Meanwhile, iPhones and Androids kept showing up with new features, better processors, improved OSes, etc. etc.

    The moral is simple, run like hell, don't look back because something might be gaining on you, and above all, don't stop to hire mercenaries to fight for y

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @04:58PM (#44887839)

      "RIM ended up known as "lawsuits in motion" for their dependence on the government-granted monopolies we call intellectual 'property.'"

      This line is marked by such great stupidity that I felt compelled to reply. Blackberry was entirely hosed by a classic patent troll, NTP. You say they depended on IP rather than innovated, but can you point out how they specifically utilized IP more so than the supposed innovators. Last time I checked, Apple and Google also have patents, and happily enforce them around the world. "Please, help yourself to a fuckin' [] book, cause you're talking like a fuckin' retard." (Southpark).

    • You are right on. Tech is about innovation, not litigation.

      The moral is simple, run like hell, don't look back because something might be gaining on you, and above all, don't stop to hire mercenaries to fight for you and then relax while a bunch of hired guns save your village with Elmer Bernstein's music in the background.

      P.S. Nice "moral". If I had mod points, I would be scoring you as 'funny'.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @04:39PM (#44887663)

    I hope BlackBerry manage to salvage their device business. The Q10 is the best phone I had since the N900. The multitasking is very similar, as is the integrated messaging. And the keyboard is superb. Of course, I wish it ran linux, but apart from that, it's great.

    • by iONiUM (530420)

      As an owner of a Q10 (though I use my S3 almost always), I agree. The phone is great. I just dislike the OS (compared to Android), and I hate that there's no apps (yes I'm sideloading, but I don't consider those "apps").

  • Blackberry OS (Score:3, Informative)

    by Terry Pearson (935552) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:00PM (#44887859) Homepage Journal
    Blackberry could come back as a semi successful phone manufacturer if they adopted an open platform for their hardware (i.e. Android) and build premium business apps that would be included with their phones. There simply is not enough room for another OS when so many have IOS and Android.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That's a particularly retarded comment.

      The BB10 phones *ALREADY* run Android apps. As long as some significant effort is spent to catch the Android runtime up to the latest stable variant, the app issue will be resolved. Here the BB10 OS would act as a type of hypervisor, that other OS's including Android and iOS struggling to get workable.

      A fully functional Android VM inside a highly secure and performant OS (be it BB10 or something else), is pretty compelling.

    • Re:Blackberry OS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by narcc (412956) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:44PM (#44888301) Journal

      That argument's been around for years. It hasn't improved with age. Becoming a me-too player in a crowded market while simultaneously cutting off the few remaining advantages you have over the competition does not sound like a recipe for success!

      Less obvious, but still important, Android kinda sucks. The development tools suck, multitasking sucks, the UI is a mess, etc. The only reason that it's the dominant player is that it's cheap and far more open than other offerings.

      It was pretty obvious that Android will win in the short term -- but it will fall, and fall quickly, to any OS that's at least as open and cheap with better dev tools and UI.

      • by w_dragon (1802458)
        Android is winning for the exact reasons that DOS won 20 years ago. It's cheap, easy to develop and distribute apps for (no mandatory app store), and runs on any hardware. It's not the best of the 4 smartphone os's by any measure, but the only actual competition is Windows Phone, which has a long way to go get before it makes real headway.
        • I make no statement about which OS is the best, but to say Android's main competitor is the Windows Phone is just silly. Hate Apple as much as you like, but Android is Apple's main competitor - Windows and BB are distant also-rans at the point. Hopefully that changes as competition is good for us.

        • Windows Phone? Really?

          If you took the market share of Windows Phone, and added the market share for BlackBerry, it still wouldn't be 1/5 of Apple's market share in the same measurement period, which is still less than Android in the same period.

          Yeah, Windows Phone is Android's "only actual competition."

      • by iONiUM (530420)

        I can't really agree. I've developed for BBOS pre 10, and it was a *nightmare*. BBOS10 is a bit better, but it's not great. While nothing really compares to VS and .NET (IMO), Eclipse isn't that bad to do Android development, and I had no issues with the SDK or API. The tablet emulator, however, is so slow on Windows that it's impossible to use.

        As for the UI, I actually think Google has done a really nice job (now, in JB) on it. They enforce a lot of standards, and in general it looks "better" (YMMV) than i

      • by acoustix (123925)

        multitasking sucks

        You've got to be kidding me. BlackBerry has been doing true multitasking longer than any other major mobile OS. BB's multitasking puts iOS to shame (which has basically no multitasking) and is only rivaled by Android's multitasking which came out *after* BB.

        • by narcc (412956)

          I agree that BB does multitasking significantly better than the competition. I disagree that it is rivaled by Android's approach to multitasking. I don't think it even comes close.

      • by Xest (935314)

        "That argument's been around for years. It hasn't improved with age. Becoming a me-too player in a crowded market while simultaneously cutting off the few remaining advantages you have over the competition does not sound like a recipe for success!"

        Right, and the "me too" argument has been around just as long. The difference is that Android is still growing marketshare and Samsung has proven what a joke the "me too" argument is by differentiating to the point of becoming the largest cellphone manufacturer ar

        • by narcc (412956)

          Samsung has proven what a joke the "me too" argument is

          Tell that to HTC, Motorola, LG, ...

          But worse, that argument looks even more stupid due to the fact that Blackberry's latest OS is very much a "me too" clone of Android

          Wow, not even a little bit. The two are dramatically different in just about every respect.

          The decline in value and worth of Nokia is almost unparalleled to any other tech company.

          Ignoring the "unparalleled" hyperbole, for the moment, do you honestly think they'd have done better had Elop gone with Android? Nokia had made a lot of strategic mistakes long before Microsoft came calling. Do you think Elop's infamous restructuring was "just because"? It was, at the time, a necessary effort to save the ailing company.

          To suggest that had they just switched to An

          • by Xest (935314)

            "Tell that to HTC, Motorola, LG, ..."

            But they're not differentiating on hardware like Samsung did and that's exactly the point.

            That's like saying Windows Phone 8 didn't differentiate because it's doing shit. Obviously it's very fucking different to Android and very much differentiates but differentiating to the extreme isn't a guarantee of success either. Samsung get it just right by providing quality hardware that people want. That's all the differentiation you need and it's a thing Nokia and Blackberry co

            • by narcc (412956)

              Differentiating via OS doesn't work, that's not opinion

              Tell that to Apple...

              This simply tells me you haven't even seen either Blackberry's latest OS or Android since version 4.

              My first BB was a 7290, my current phone is a Z10. (While I'm a long-time user, I'm no die-hard, I'll happily give up my BB if something better comes along.) My wife and a few of my friends are Android fans and I've done some Android development. I'd like to think that I have a reasonable, if admittedly limited, familiarity with Android.

              Blackberry have even gone as far to copy common icons such as the 3 dots for menus and so forth. Many other UI elements are exact copies of Android.

              You're not very familiar with BlackBerry are you? From their gesture suite to their approach to multitasking, BB10 is about as close to Android as And

    • Blackberry could come back as a semi successful phone manufacturer if they adopted an open platform for their hardware (i.e. Android)

      the android market has fierce competition with many players. there's no way they could jump in now and compete with the likes of samsung, asus, motorola, acer, HTC, sony, LG, and all of the chinese knockoffs. it's a game of razor thin profit margins. BB is (was) better off trying to do something different (for the same reason, i thought nokia's decision to go WP was a good idea. of course hindsight is 20/20).

      that, and there was a day when an enterprise phone would have sold, but no longer. everyone is BYOD,

      • for the same reason, i thought nokia's decision to go WP was a good idea. of course hindsight is 20/20).

        Depends what you mean by "Nokia." The smartphone division has a better chance of surviving in some form than Blackberry does; the sales may be similar in number to Blackberry's but the sales growth especially for the cheaper models like the 520 is healthy and positive.

        So long as Microsoft don't follow their usual form and crush the new acquisition through mismanagement or plain stupidity.

  • by VoiceOfSanity (716713) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @05:47PM (#44888333)
    At the company I work for, we've tested iPhones, Androids and other smartphone variations, but stay on the Blackberry for now. The main reason? Security. No smartphone can touch the level of security that a Blackberry possesses, especially for companies in which the security of data is essential. The iPhone initially was allowed, but when folks found out that they were locked down and that they had to use only the software the company mandated for security reasons, the iPhones were returned and Blackberry devices issued instead.

    Part of the complaints came because users can't understand that these are COMPANY devices, not personal devices. And the company has a stake in maintaining the security of the device and the data that resides on it. But people wanted to download whatever apps they wanted, a major security threat, or access whatever network they wanted (again, a security threat).

    BYOD may be nice for small companies, but not major ones. Especially if the major companies want to stay major companies, device security and data security will remain essential... which is why Blackberry devices will still be around for a while.

    Personally? I have a work-provided Blackberry. My personal device is a cellphone, and will remain so as long as it can.
    • by Y-Crate (540566)

      BYOD is a nice idea, but even from an employee's perspective, it doesn't make much sense.

      Do you really want IT reading / archiving all non-work related emails and texts on your phone? No, you don't. Even if they're the most benign messages ever.

      I get that the company may take a peek at my computer screen at work, or MITM my gChats or quick "Do you want to meet for lunch?" emails I send out on company time on company machines, but I don't want them downloading the entirety of my private mail account, backin

      • BYOD device platforms don't work that way... they are typically sandboxed solutions housed in an app (like Good Technology) or solutions which use the native email clients on the device via a separate device management and settings profile that handles things like SSL certs, enforcing password rules, setting up email settings and allowing remote wipe of the corporate data. There is no interception of 3rd party app data or personal traffic (e.g. sms, email to other accounts, etc.). The one thing that is tr
      • Do you really want IT reading / archiving all non-work related emails and texts on your phone? No, you don't. Even if they're the most benign messages ever.

        you watch too many movies. that's not possible on any modern OS without getting in and modifying the OS itself. you can't, by installing an application, gain unmitigated access to arbitrary resources on the device. i'm not saying it's not theoretically possible with some incredibly sophisticated software exploiting some yet undiscovered earth-shattering bugs in the OS, but if your company has that sort of resources that they can bring to bear against you, and they have a *reason* to do so, then you have big

      • You have no idea how MDM works on Android and iOS. Stop posting about this subject until you educate yourself.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Wow you guys really won't give up the KoolAid. There were hundreds of you spouting the same nonsense years ago, and there are much fewer of you now.

      Your "Secure" phones are going to mean fuck-all when BB goes belly up in a few months and is sold. Why? Because you won't be able to get any more of them. You wont get support on the shitpile that is BES. Your "Secure" phone infrastructure will be so secure that nobody is going to get anything done with it.

      Security is a process. It's not a phone, or a phone make

    • by sootman (158191)

      This isn't like typewriter repair, where as long as there's one guy in the country who can still do it, you can get your typewriter fixed. There needs to be enough companies willing to pay for BB products and services to keep the company afloat. You might have noticed a sharp downward trend in BB's cash flow in recent years. For every company that thinks they "can't live without" BlackBerry, there are a literally a hundred others saying "yeah, we'll make do without." And that number of "we'll make do"s goes

    • by dj245 (732906)

      Part of the complaints came because users can't understand that these are COMPANY devices, not personal devices. And the company has a stake in maintaining the security of the device and the data that resides on it. But people wanted to download whatever apps they wanted, a major security threat, or access whatever network they wanted (again, a security threat). BYOD may be nice for small companies, but not major ones. Especially if the major companies want to stay major companies, device security and data security will remain essential... which is why Blackberry devices will still be around for a while.

      Statements like these seem oblivious to the reasons WHY you issue someone a Company phone. You give someone a company phone because 1. You want to be able to reach them at all times or 2. You want them to be working at all times. In either case, you want them to be in possession of the phone at nearly all times. There has always been a carrot involved to make sure that happens. The employee can use the phone for personal reasons. If I can't derive some personal utility from carrying the company phone a

      • And it's statements like this that show why the end user is oblivious as to the purpose of the phone, and who owns it. If you're given a company phone, then yes, the company is wanting to reach you pretty much whenever. But it is a COMPANY phone,not a personal phone, and no, you don't have the right to use it for your personal reasons. The same is true for your company-issued computer, you do not have the right to install whatever software you want on it or to use it to surf Facebook and/or Twitter, even
    • by Rich0 (548339)

      BYOD may be nice for small companies, but not major ones. Especially if the major companies want to stay major companies, device security and data security will remain essential... which is why Blackberry devices will still be around for a while.

      So, as long as major companies aren't run by short-sighted cost-cutters Blackberry will do just fine?

      Good luck with that business plan. My Fortune-500 employer went to BYOD ages ago, and it isn't likely to change that policy anytime soon. I think a few employees still have Blackberries, somewhere. Many employees simply don't check their emails unless they're at their desk, since they choose not to buy devices supported by the BYOD policy.

  • Companies like Nortel, Sun, Word Perfect, Digital, etc have all done the multi thousand person cut with promises of trimming the fat and getting back into fighting form. But when a company has become this bloated it is because the MBAs took over the company years before. MBAs hate R&D and progress. They love to rework the old over and over, giving it new names and calling it the X initiative. So when they cut the "fat" they don't start with themselves they start with R&D and other things that are th
    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I personally can't really believe how many people these companies have working for them. Last Time I heard about the layoffs, it was 3000 people they were letting go of. How do they even find work for these people to do? according to wikipedia [wikipedia.org], they currenly have around 12,700 employees. They need to trim some fat. That is seriously too many employees for the out put of the company. You could probably do the same amount of stuff with 1000 people if they just decided what they were going to do, and stayed
      • I read the same thing just as Netscape (add that to my list) collapsed. They were laying off 5000 at a go. But from what I could tell it was around 5 core guys still doing the bulk of the development. I suspect there is a Nobel in economics if you can figure out why so many companies become so flabby. Another good story was WebVan going busto. The people who went into the auction were blown away by the waste. Stacks and stacks of high end Sun servers still in their boxes. Top of the line chairs, desktops, d
  • For over 12 years, I have supported RIM/BlackBerry. However, over that time, my frustration has grown and grown. Products like the 9700 were offered with all sorts of feature like GPS navigation. Sadly, they barely functioned to the point where they were unusable in the real world.

    Over time, I also discovered that calendar items were being automatically deleted as they aged - this, without any warning or prior information. Looking up past business meetings which had disappeared was pretty frightening.

    The

  • I wonder what is going to happen to the 28 RIM buildings in waterloo region. Hopefully traffic will be better during rush hour. Still plenty of big tech companies in the region like opentext, google, desire2learn, com dev international, christie digital, toyota, and a few others.

"Atomic batteries to power, turbines to speed." -- Robin, The Boy Wonder

Working...