07/25/2013 08:09 EDT | Updated 09/24/2013 05:12 EDT

BlackBerry announces 250 layoffs in R&D

BlackBerry has laid off 250 employees at its new-product testing facility, the research and development area of the Waterloo, Ont.-based smartphone maker.

The workers there are responsible for supporting the smartphone maker's manufacturing and R&D departments.

Employees were given notice on Tuesday, according to a statement sent by e-mail to CBC News from company spokeswoman Lisette Kwong.

"This is part of the next stage of our turnaround plan to increase efficiencies and scale our company correctly for new opportunities in mobile computing," she wrote Thursday. "We will be as transparent as possible as those plans evolve."

BlackBerry is trying to regain its footing in a highly competitive global smartphone market, going head-to-head against technology giants such as Apple and Samsung.

BlackBerry's new Z10 smartphone and operating system made their debut in the U.S. market in March, but analysts were underwhelmed by sales of the new touchscreen phone.