BlackBerry expects $1B loss, will slash staff, reduce handset range

The company hopes to half operating costs while it evaluates its future

BlackBerry lost close to $1 billion in the July to September quarter as users abandoned its once-dominant platform.

During the three-month period, the struggling smartphone maker said it shipped around 3.7 million handsets -- exactly half the number it sold in the same period last year. As a result, it expects sales for the quarter to be around $1.6 billion, a drop of 45 percent from the same quarter in 2012, the company said Friday.

In light of the results, the company said it plans to restructure and lay off around 4,500 staff and cut the number of phones it sells from six to fourth handsets. Those phones will be targeted at the enterprise and prosumer markets.

BlackBerry is scheduled to announced full financial results for the second quarter on Sept. 27.

(More to follow.)

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Martyn Williams

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