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The axe has started swinging at RIM in the latest round of job cuts, the beleaguered BlackBerry maker has confirmed.

The Canadian firm plans to slash at least $1bn from operating expenses by next March, the close of its fiscal 2013, amid industry talk that as many as 6,000 heads could roll.

A company mouthpiece told The Channel: "RIM has reduced some positions as part of this programme and may continue to do so as the company methodically works through a review of the business."

He did not confirm details about the cuts in terms of numbers, or the roles or geographies impacted but said more details will be released on 28 June when Q1 numbers are reported.

Problems at the firm were made public a year ago when RIM downgraded earnings per share amid slowing sales and delayed product launches.

Around 2,000 staff left the firm last summer which reduced the global workforce to around 16,500 employees.

Plans for the latest round of cuts were announced last month when CEO Thorsten Heins revealed the company was likely to make its first operating loss in nine years. ®

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