BlackBerry firm set to unveil further losses

THE tech industry is bracing itself for Research in Motion’s first quarter results this Thursday, when the BlackBerry maker is expected to reveal further losses.

The Canadian company has struggled to keep up with rising competition, in the form of Apple’s and Samsung’s popular smartphones, and last month announced the hire of banks to help its explore options.

Advised by JP Morgan and Royal Bank of Canada, RIM said its turnaround plans, aimed at saving $1bn a year, would involve the loss of thousands of jobs.

More details of the “significant layoffs” are expected to be revealed this Thursday, after an initial 2,000 jobs were axed last year.

Reports over the last few weeks have pointed to a break-up of RIM’s operating divisions, with a potential sale on the horizon.

“RIM has hired advisers to help the company examine ways to leverage the BlackBerry platform through partnerships, licensing opportunities and strategic business model alternatives,” a spokesperson said yesterday.

Oracle boss Larry Ellison admitted recently that his software company had considered making an offer for RIM, but decided it was a “bad idea”.

The BlackBerry maker, whose stock has lost over 90 per cent of its value since its 2008 high, appointed Thorsten Heins as chief executive in January after long-term bosses Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie resigned.

But it remains to be seen whether this new financial year under a new boss will signal a new beginning for the struggling smartphone maker.