Research In Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) is preparing to announce a new round of layoffs as part of a restructuring, according to The Wall Street Journal. The layoffs are expected to affect middle management in the sales and support departments. Last fiscal year, RIM layer off around 5,000 people. Richard Piasentin, BlackBerry’s sales VP in the U.S. was affected by this round of layoffs. He was fired this past June.
The company formerly known as Research In Motion and now known as BlackBerry will start trading under the symbol “BBRY” starting February 4th. BlackBerry’s legal name change will occur later this year. The company will trade as “BB” on the Toronto Stock Exchange and “BBRY” on the NASDAQ.
Research In Motion announced today at a BlackBerry 10 event in New York that their company name will now be known as “BlackBerry” going forward. Named after their signature line of smartphones, their new stock trading symbol will be BBRY going forward. Stay tuned for more updates about BlackBerry today as their event continues.
Research In Motion is going to have a big year. The company’s BlackBerry 10 operating system is launching on January 30 and that will be followed up with their first Super Bowl ad ever. BBDO of London created the 30-second spot. “A Super Bowl commercial, is a great opportunity to show the re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry to tens of millions of consumers on the largest advertising stage of the year,” stated RIM Frank Boulben. “BlackBerry has 30 million social media fans, and we’re looking forward to continuing to encourage them and all NFL football fans to see the power of BlackBerry 10 for themselves.” [Source: AdAge]
Thorsten Heins, the CEO of RIM, said in an interview with Die Welt that the company is seriously considering the sale of their hardware production business after the BlackBerry 10 operating system is launched. This is not surprising because RIM has been talking about licensing their software as far back as August 2012. In the interview, Heins said “Before you license the software, you must show that the platform has a large potential.” Heins believes that BlackBerry 10 will be “future-proof for the next ten years.”
Research In Motion is going to sell the BlackBerry Curve 9315 on T-Mobile’s network. The 9315 retails for only $49. The Equipment Installment Plan for the phone will cost $10 per month. The 9315 has a 3.2-megapixel camera, a microSD memory card expansion, 3G connectivity, FM radio, and QWERTY keyboard. The phone looks like one of the classic BlackBerry devices. RIM’s newest operating system, BlackBerry 10, is expected to debut on January 30th.
Synchronoss Technologies is software-based activation and mobile content management solutions company that has acquired the NewBay cloud content service from Research In Motion. The acquisition price is believed to be worth $55.5 million. The acquisition was largely driven by a plan for Synchronoss to increase their international market presence. NewBay has offices in Seattle and is based in Ireland. Many of NewBay’s customers are based in Europe like Swisscom and Vodafone. In the U.S., NewBay counts large telecommunications companies like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile as their customers.