(NEW YORK) — As thousands line up for Apple’s brand new iPhone Friday, BlackBerry, once a leading mobile phone company, announced that it will lay off over 4,500 employees — approximately 40 percent of its workforce.
After reporting a surprise billion-dollar second-quarter loss, the company’s stock fell more than 20 percent. Blackberry said in a statement it expects to report quarterly revenue of $1.6 billion compared with $3.04 billion that was expected.
“The latest new from Blackberry is yet another indication that the company desperately needs to find a new owner, the only hope for a turnaround,” Patrick Moorhead, founder and principal analyst of Moorhead Insights, told ABC News. “They were late with mobile touch, a modern mobile operating system and an app store, and don’t have the cash or the time to go after it alone.”
The news, which was reported earlier this week by the Wall Street Journal, comes after a series of bad quarters for the company. While the company released its new 5-inch Z30 smartphone this week and its new BlackBerry 10 operating system in January, it has been struggling to keep pace with other phone makers. In the last quarter the company only shipped 2.7 million of its new BlackBerry 10 devices. Contrast that with Apple, which analysts expect could sell six million iPhones just this weekend.
The Wall Street Journal also reported last month that Blackberry’s board was looking at alternatives for the company by November, including a possible sale. BlackBerry plans to release its once-popular BlackBerry Messenger or BBM for the iPhone and Android this weekend.
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