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BlackBerry has confirmed it expects to post losses just shy of $1 billion for the current quarter, with plans to lay off 4,500 staff, about 40% of its global workforce.

The news, revealed by CEO Thorsten Heins, comes just a month after the once dominant mobile player confirmed that it was putting itself up for sale, following the failure of its new handsets and BB10 software.

BlackBerry has admitted that poor sales of its Z10 handset, largely well reviewed but a commercial disaster, have been the driver behind the huge loss. In the first full quarter in which BB19 was available only 2.7 million units using the OS were shipped, from a total of 6.8 million BlackBerry devices.

In a statement, Heins said: “We are implementing the difficult, but necessary operational changes announced today to address our position in a maturing and more competitive industry, and to drive the company toward profitability. 

“Going forward, we plan to refocus our offering on our end-to-end solution of hardware, software and services for enterprises and the productive, professional end user.”

Heins has previously blamed ‘opportunistic’ networks in the US for not advertising newer BlackBerry devices and instead offering older Apple models to customers.

However, that doesn’t mask years of corporate mismanagement which saw BB10 arrive years late and its BBM service only just launch on iOS and Android.

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