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BlackBerry cuts jobs worldwide in smartphone consolidation

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BlackBerry Ltd is cutting jobs at offices around the world as it brings together the different parts of its shrinking smartphone business.

[WATERLOO] BlackBerry Ltd is cutting jobs at offices around the world as it brings together the different parts of its shrinking smartphone business.

The cutbacks come as the Waterloo, Ontario-based company works to make its device unit profitable again, BlackBerry said Friday in an e-mailed statement. Lisette Kwong, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to say how many employees were affected. The company had 7,000 employees as of September 2014.

"We have made the decision to consolidate our device software, hardware and applications business, impacting a number of employees around the world," BlackBerry said in the statement.

After its global market share fell to less than 1 per cent, BlackBerry narrowed the target audience for its phones to financial professionals and government workers who demand a rigorous level of security.

While reining in BlackBerry's hardware ambitions, Chief Executive Officer John Chen is expanding in software, making more applications that work on other manufacturers' mobile devices. Revenue is still falling, but Chen has stemmed cash losses and BlackBerry began to post profits late last year.

BlackBerry advanced 2 per cent to US$10.48 at the close in New York on Friday. The shares have fallen 4.6 per cent this year.

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