BlackBerry announces plans to cut 4,500 jobs - 40 per cent of its staff

Times at BlackBerry become more grim, as the company has announced official plans to cut 4,500 jobs, or 40 per cent of its global workforce. Before the news hit the wire, BlackBerry suspended public trading.

Along with the job cuts, BlackBerry also announced it expects a $950 million to $995 million operating loss for Q2. Revenue for the quarter is expected at $1.6 billion - half of the revenue it saw in Q1. BlackBerry says it expects 3.7 million smartphones to be sold worldwide during the quarter. Another scary fact: "Most of the units recognised are BlackBerry 7 devices."

The company plans to refocus on enterprise and prosumer market, offering end-to-end solutions, including hardware, software and services.

Friday's news couldn't come at a worse time for the Canada-based company. A special committee has been working to find a buyer for the company, or at least parts of it. That fact didn't stop it from launching a new smartphone earlier this week. It introduced a flagship BlackBerry Z30 at an event in Malaysia. 

Roughly 20 minutes after the news of layoffs and earnings hit, BlackBerry resumed stock trading - leading to 20 per cent decline in the stock (shaving $1 billion off the company's value).