BlackBerry jobs to go from software, hardware, apps businesses

The Canadian former handset giant announced over the weekend that it will be cutting an unspecified number of workers.

BlackBerry is laying off an unspecified number of workers around the world as the struggling smartphone manufacturer tries to make its device business profitable.

The Canadian company, based in Waterloo, Ontario, said the cuts will impact those working on the software, hardware, and applications side of the business.

"As the company moves into its next stage of the turnaround, our intention is to reallocate resources in ways that will best enable us to capitalise on growth opportunities while driving toward sustainable profitability across all facets of our business," BlackBerry said in a statement to AFP on Saturday.

A spokeswoman declined to provide additional information about the cuts. The company currently employs about 7000 people internationally.

BlackBerry, which only a decade ago was a titan in the smartphone business, has been forced into a major reorganisation focusing more on software and services since being overtaken in the market for mobile devices.

An IDC survey showed BlackBerry managed to capture just 0.4 per cent of global smartphone sales in 2014.

"One of our priorities is making our device business profitable," BlackBerry said.

"At the same time, we must grow software and licensing revenues. You will see in the coming months a significant ramping up in our customer-facing activities in sales and marketing."

Last week, BlackBerry announced plans to buy back 12 million shares, representing 2.6 percent of outstanding shares.

"The purpose of this repurchase program will be to offset dilution that may result from our proposed employee share purchase plan and from proposed amendments to our equity incentive plan," BlackBerry CEO John Chen said on Friday.

"We intend to take advantage of our strong cash position to purchase our shares when the market price does not reflect what we view to be the underlying value and future prospects of our business, without adversely affecting our strategic initiatives."

In its latest results released in March, the company reported a fourth quarter profit of $28 million, and revenue of $660 million. For its full fiscal year 2015, BlackBerry earned 3.33 billion in revenue, down from the $6.81 billion posted in 2014.

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

With AAP