Blackberry guts its staff -

Troubled Blackberry has been handing out huge numbers of p45s and pink slips as a prelude to a likely company sale.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company is planning to sack 40 percent of its workforce by the end of the year.

Thousands of workers across all departments will lose their jobs.

Blackberry has failed to rejuvenate its business despite relaunching its smartphone line and software in January, and is now locked in a downward spiral.

It thinks that it might be able to sell itself off easier if it has a few less employees, say analysts.

Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi said that all the signs pointed to Blackberry trying to make itself more attractive to a buyer. 

Blackberry had 12,700 employees in its most recent reporting period. The company slashed 5,000 jobs last year.

BlackBerry has struggled to interest anyone in its BlackBerry 10 software that underpins its new Z10. It also slipped below Microsoft in worldwide sales.

The company holds just 2.7 percent of the smartphone market compared with Windows Phone at 3.3 percent, Apple iOS at 14.2 percent and Google's Android with 79 percent.