Earlier this month BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, stated he believed the company was on track to be profitable again. At the time, Chen stated that design was key in the company's efforts to continue selling handsets while capitalizing on the fact that services were the primary source of income. Possibly contrary to Chen's remarks, BlackBerry has announced plans to cut employees from the device side, primarily from the smartphone software and application development area.
According to The Wall Street Journal, it's unclear if the layoffs will be part of a plan announced last month to shutter it's offices in Sweden. The closure there could eliminate around 100 employees, but no information about how many BlackBerry workers this new round of layoffs will impact has been released. BlackBerry representatives have not made further comments on it.
It remains unclear how this reduction in the device side will fit into Chen's assertion last month that the best bet for growing its communication security and services products depends on keeping a handsets on the plan. According to the CEO, design is key. However, BlackBerry still needs to improve its bottom line in the meantime.
The company's financial report released in February for the previous fiscal year indicates a break-even point was reached in the third quarter, one quarter early; then, in the fourth quarter, the company's revenue fell 32 percent. The focus is on enterprise customers in regulated industries, with particular attention to software and services. Chen believes these services, expanded to include other platforms in the face of IT Departments increasingly adopting BYOD programs, will ultimately bear fruit.