BlackBerry planning up to 40% staff cull insiders claim

BlackBerry will cut as much as 40-percent of its staff before 2013 is through, insiders claim, with several thousand people facing redundancy as the Canadian smartphone firm attempts to coax profit from its ailing business. The mass scale trimmings will impact all departments and are expected to come "in waves" sources told the WSJ, though BlackBerry has declined to comment on the speculated figure.

Instead, the spokesperson would only say that BlackBerry will make whatever decisions it needs to in order to keep its business working. "Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing" the company rep told the newspaper.

BlackBerry currently has around 12,700 staff, according to figures released in March 2013, having trimmed approximately 5,000 positions in 2012. The rumored losses this year could amount to a similar number.

According to the insiders, BlackBerry managers have begun the process of informing staff whether they'll be impacted by the redundancies. Some have already seen their positions axed, with what are described as "smaller rounds of layoffs" apparently having started earlier this summer, predominantly impacting the sales and R&D divisions.

Meanwhile, BlackBerry has previously admitted it is looking into "strategic alternatives" that could see the business go private or different aspects hewn off and run independently by third parties. That exploration, however, reportedly cost them at least one big-name client considering BlackBerry 10, with Morgan Stanley said to have put upgrade plans on ice over concerns that BlackBerry wasn't fully behind its platform.

BlackBerry announced a new device earlier today, the BlackBerry Z30, with the biggest display on a BB10 phone. However, the company is yet to detail sales figures for its more recent handsets, leading to speculation that low-cost BlackBerry 7 devices are still propping up overall sales.