NEW YORK (AP) — Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry could cut its workforce by up to 40 percent by the end of the year, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, the newspaper said that the Canadian company plans to make the cuts through layoffs that will occur in all of its departments, potentially affecting several thousand people.

When contacted by The Associated Press later on Wednesday, BlackBerry released a statement saying that it wouldn't comment on "rumors and speculation."

"As previously stated, we are in the second phase of our transformation plan. Organizational moves will continue to occur to ensure we have the right people in the right roles to drive new opportunities in mobile computing," BlackBerry said.

The report comes as BlackBerry continues to lose money amid tough competition from Apple Inc.'s iPhone and phones running Android, such as Samsung's Galaxy. The company's board is looking at strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company.

Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry had 12,700 employees the last time it reported an employment figure in March.

BlackBerry shares fell 10 cents to $10.46 in afternoon trading.

 

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