Research in Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has begun slashing its workforce in a bid to save $1 billion, Bloomberg reports.
The handset maker said that staff cuts were part of an ongoing effort to achieve “significant efficiencies and operating cost reductions over the course of this fiscal year.”
Shares of RIM fell more than 3% in Wednesday morning trading.
The company is also cutting its supply chain. Celestica (NYSE:CLS), an outside supplier, has stopped production of Blackberry phones.
An analyst told Bloomberg that the company could end up reducing its payroll by between 2,000 and 3,000 workers.
Last year, the company trimmed its workforce by 2,000.
The maker of once popular Blackberry phones joins Nokia (NYSE:NOK) as another mobile handset maker caught flatfooted by the sudden rise of smartphones. Nokia has announced plans to shed 10,000 jobs.
RIM shares have plunged 60% over the last year as investors lost confidence that the company, which pioneered smartphones, can successfully compete with Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and mobile devices running Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android system.
Workforce cuts at RIM have been the focus of rumors for some weeks.