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​BlackBerry confirms more job cuts

Weak smartphone sales have prompted another round of job cuts at BlackBerry.
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Written by Aimee Chanthadavong on

BlackBerry is undergoing another round of job cuts as part of a wider restructure as it tries to offset weak smartphone sales.

The Canadian company, based in Waterloo, Ontario declined on Tuesday to disclose how many employees were affected in the latest change, but said that some were shifted to different roles while others were laid off.

BlackBerry has shed thousands of jobs since it began restructuring its operations under chief executive John Chen, who joined the company in 2013 and has focused on tightening spending and innovation.

A round of cuts happened earlier this year when BlackBerry laid off an unspecified number of employees from its software, hardware, and apps business.

BlackBerry has faced an onslaught of competition from other phone manufacturers including Apple and Samsung who represent the majority of global device sales.

In its latest results released in March, the company managed to turn a $28 million profit, however, revenue continued to tank hitting only $600 million, down from $976 million a year ago, with the company blaming the result on the work it continues to do to improve business prospects.

For the full year, Blackberry posted a loss of $304 million, an improvement on the $5.87 billion in FY14.

Chen, at the time of the results, said that Blackberry has "a very good handle on our margins and product roadmaps have been well received", and now it's a matter of stabilising the revenue. The company also said it plans to remain cash flow positive and expand its distribution in a move that won't pay off until later in BlackBerry's fiscal year.

Blackberry also recently appointed former Cisco executive Carl Wiese to the sales lead role, as the company transitions to a business model that revolves around software. While hardware accounts for the bulk of the company's revenue, BlackBerry has previously said there are plan to grow its enterprise mobility business.

Despite these plans, the number of remaining Blackberry enterprise customers continue to shrink. ZDNet recently revealed that the Australian Parliament have ditched the Blackberry completely.

Blackberry used to be the only phone that members of parliament were allowed to use. But following a review of IT for the parliament in 2012, "a substantial number of parliamentarians" favoured the iPhone over the BlackBerry complaining the phones were unduly restrictive and had high failure rates.

The Department of Parliamentary Services -- which maintains responsibility for the mobile phones issued to all parliamentarians -- established a "one-stop shop" for the IT needs of the politicians that eventually saw the iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy S4, and a number of Windows Phone devices given security approval to be offered to politicians.

Reportedly only a few ministers in the Australian government still use a Blackberry phone, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott. The iPhone is now the only phone that the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet issues.

With AAP

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