BlackBerry loses US$950m, job cuts to follow

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Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

BlackBerry has announced that it anticipates losing between US$950 million and US$955 million in the second quarter of this financial year.

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins.
(Credit: Sarah Tew/CNET)

The loss has initiated a number of changes at the beleaguered company, with 4500 jobs set to be axed and a company-wide change in strategy to refocus on the business and "prosumer" market.

The change will include a shift in the number of smartphones in BlackBerry's portfolio, from six down to four: two high end and two more "affordable".

The large loss is in part a result of the company taking a charge of US$930 million to US$960 million to reflect a write-down on unsold BlackBerry Z10 smartphones. Following the quiet launch of the Z30, the Z10 will become one of the low-end phones.

The expected job cuts will take BlackBerry down to 7000 employees, and the company expects to halve its operating costs by the end of the first quarter of 2015.

In the wake of the news, Wall Street analysts are predicting a loss of US$0.15 per share on revenue of US$3.06 billion.

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