The Priv to BlackBerry could be what the iPhone is to Apple, but it's still too early for a single device to save the Canadian company from its past business failures. Apparently, apart from launching a well-received device, layoff is part of the company's comeback plan too.
Arguably one of, if not, the most secure Android device in the industry, Priv is actually selling out in some markets. Though an Android-based BlackBerry seemed nearly impossible years before, the time is ripe now for the Canadian company to bring the best of both worlds into one device.
However, BlackBerry's CEO, John Chen said that they'll need to sell 5 million units of BlackBerry smartphones to stay in the hardware game. Otherwise, he'll pivot the company's business roadmap and exit the smartphone business for software development.
Until such time, it seems BlackBerry is taking other measures to stay afloat by beginning to layoff a few hundred workers - including Director of Architecture Gary Klassen.
Klassen is the man responsible for creating the well-loved BBM messaging service, the equivalent of today's iMessage for Apple devices. His wife seems to have been overjoyed with his decision, saying that Klassen has left BlackBerry "for the last time" and was "glad [he] was out."
BlackBerry denied the rumors, which state that as much as 35 percent of the company's workforce would soon be out of jobs. Originally referring to the cuts as just a "small number," BlackBerry gave exact figure of 200.
Report says that the BlackBerry 10 operating system and devices hardware teams in Waterloo headquarters in Canada removed 150 employees. While the satellite office in Sunrise, Fla. had to let 75 employees go.
If Chen is serious about transitioning BlackBerry over to the software and services side of the business and refocusing its efforts on Android, then it seems he just started setting up his pieces.
Besides the Priv, BlackBerry is expected to release two other Android handsets that will be more affordable than its current Android flagship.