Confirming earlier reports this week, BlackBerry has confirmed substantial job cuts following its latest earnings report earlier today. The beleaguered platform and smartphone manufacturer will cut 4,500 jobs as a result of missing sales estimates for the 2nd quarter, with the company taking up to a $960 million charge on unsold inventory consisting primarily of unsold Z10 smartphones. The company reported sales of 3.7 million devices for the second quarter, down 49% from the 6.5 million sold in the first quarter.
The charge and and the missed estimates come as investors were also told that the company will now focus on enterprise solutions and professional users, with the company moving away from consumer hardware and service offerings over time. The company made no direct mention of it during its conference call or press release, as BlackBerry Messenger will be officially released on Android and iOS this weekend after months of expectation, though how long it will remain viable remains to be seen following the latest news.
For the short-term, BlackBerry will cut its current hardware selection down to four devices total from the current six, with two high-end devices and two low-end devices. The forthcoming Z30 and Q10 will now comprise the high-end of the future lineup, while the Q5 and an unknown fourth model will be focused on the low-end. The company is also still seeking buyers for its November deadline and has yet to confirm any potential buyers. To add to the severity of the results most of the sales volume for the second quarter were not even BB10-powered devices, but older OS7 powered devices, compounding the conglomerate’s troubles.