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BlackBerry could soon get a whole lot smaller.

The company could slash up to 40 percent of its workforce by the end of the year, reports The Wall Street Journal, which cites people familiar with the matter.

To put that number in perspective, BlackBerry had 12,700 employes as of March, which means that if the report is correct, roughly 5000 of them will soon be out of jobs. While the cuts will likely be spread across the company, you can expect BlackBerry’s hardware division to see the most damage.

The rumored layoff round joins the several confirmed ones BlackBerry has announced as of late. This includes the 250 research and development jobs the company cut back in July as well as the 5000 jobs it slashed last year.

Ironically, the rumors come just hours after BlackBerry officially announced the BlackBerry Z30, a 5-inch flagship running the latest version of BlackBerry 10.

Also this morning came the news that BlackBerry Messenger, the company last great product, will land on Android and iOS later this week. The move likely represents one component of the “strategic alternatives” BlackBerry has been planning for its business, which could end up being sold off entirely.

The job cuts also put into greater context recent comments made BlackBerry director Bert Nordberg, who joined the company to help decide its future: “I think BlackBerry is able to survive as a niche company,” he told the WSJ.





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