Are BlackBerry‘s days as smartphone maker over?

At their peak, just a few years ago, BlackBerry  smartphones were symbols of corporate and political power. When President Barack Obama took office, he made keeping his BlackBerry a personal priority, and when BlackBerry service had a hiccup so did business on Wall Street.But after being upstaged time and again by industry rivals, the devices may soon remain only in memories.

On Friday, BlackBerry announced that it would lay off 4,500 employees, nearly 40% of its already reduced workforce. The cut is so deep that some analysts and investors said the company’s days as a smartphone maker were effectively over.

The company also said that it expected to report a quarterly loss of nearly $1 billion next week, mainly the result of a write-off of unsold BlackBerry phones, but also because of payments to stop manufacturers and suppliers from adding to the pile. And of its six phones that the company offers, two will be discontinued.



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