CANADIAN mobile phone manufacturer BlackBerry has said that it will lay off 4,500 employees, or 40% of its global workforce, after reporting a second-quarter loss of nearly $1 billion in a surprise early release of earnings results.
The stock dropped 19% to 8.50 US dollars after reopening for trading. Shares had been halted pending the news.
BlackBerry had been scheduled to release earnings next week. But the Canadian company said it expects to make a loss of between $950m and $995m for the quarter, including a massive inventory charge due to increasing market competition.
The BlackBerry, which launched in 1999, was the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other customers before Apple debuted the iPhone in 2007. Since then, BlackBerry Ltd has been hammered by competition from the iPhone as well as Android-based rivals like Samsung.