BlackBerry to Cut 4,500 Jobs, Write Down $960M in Hardware

Despite Apple stealing all the headlines today with its iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c launch, BlackBerry has revealed some numbers it soon will announce from its fiscal second quarter performance.


According to a statement issued today, the company sold 5.9 million smartphones, which totaled $1.6 billion, just a bit over half of the $3.03 estimate of analysts. In other words, the new set of handsets launched in January have failed to get the adoption rate Chief Executive Thorsten Heins was dreaming about back in January, when they launched BB10 and the handsets.

The company will cut 4,500 jobs and record a write down of as much as $960 million, and expects to report a net operating loss of about $995 million for the second quarter, Bloomberg informs. As of March 2013, the company had 12,700 employees.

The writedown extends a streak of inventory charges, which were previously spurred in part by the ill-fated PlayBook tablet. The company took a pretax expense of $485 million in December 2011, a second charge of $267 million the following March and a third writedown of $335 million in June 2012.

BlackBerry, however, continues with the scheduled rollout of new products: this week it launched Z30, a smartphone with a large, 5-inch AMOLED screen, the biggest in the company’s smartphone history.

Meanwhile, the company is looking for alternatives, and that includes possible sale: it has hired the accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP to evaluate BlackBerry for potential buyers, Bloomberg reports.

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