Blackberry to lay off 4,500 employees

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 20, 2013 23:16 hrs

Toronto: Blackberry announced Friday that it would cut 4,500 jobs, or 40 percent of its worldwide workforce, while stating that it anticipated a loss of as much as $995m when it reports its second-quarter earnings next week, BBC reported.

Shares plummeted 20 percent after briefly being halted following the announcement by Blackberry. In August, the troubled smartphone maker said it was evaluating a possible sale of the company.

The Canadian company has been seeking a path forward after its much-touted new phone and operating system failed to catch on.

Only this week, the company had released a new version of its handset, the Z30, which was praised by observers but was nonetheless overshadowed by Apple's launch of its new smartphone products.

Pioneered in 1999, the BlackBerry was the dominant smartphone for on-the-go business people and other customers before Apple debuted the iPhone in 2007.

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