Blackberry was once the driving force behind smartphone sales. While other manufacturers like Nokia and Motorola concentrated their efforts on feature phones, the Blackberry held the majority share of the smartphone market, holding particular appeal with business and professional users. However, recent years have not been kind to the phone manufacturer and despite several attempts to try and rekindle the world’s love affair with the phone, there has even been talk of Research In Motion selling the Blackberry brand.
The Wall Street Journal has claimed that the company will lay off as much as 40% of its workforce. As of March, the company which once employed around 20,000 people had a workforce of less than 13,000 and it has been reported that a massive cost cutting exercise will lead to them shedding many thousands of jobs this year.
One of the company’s big moves was the release of the Blackberry 10 operating system but this did little to claw back market share from the likes of Android and Apple.
The company is hoping that their new flagship device, the Z30 will help turn their fortunes around at least a little. The 5 inch touch screen mobile has some unique and innovative features, including the biggest battery ever featured on a BB that they claim will give the phone around 25 hours before it dies. It also utilises technology to help boost signals in areas with poor coverage.
The company refused to comment on the potential for job losses.
The Blackberry Messenger service, which has long been one of the greatest features of the phones, will now be made available to users of other mobile phones as it is made available for iOS and Android operating systems. If you’re looking to get your hands on this free messaging service then you will be able to get it from the Play Store or App Store this weekend.
BBM currently has around 60m users and there are other over the top messenger services that are more popular, but considering it has not previously been available on any other operating system, it has a chance of gaining considerable ground on the 200m userbase boasted by market leader WhatsApp.