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BlackBerry waves the white flag

The BlackBerry death spiral went into extreme-plummet mode on Friday. Trading on the Toronto and New York stock markets was halted moments before the company announced that it expected to register an operating loss of almost $1 billion in the second quarter of 2012, and planned to lay off 4,500 employees, or about 36 percent of its total staff.

For case studies in how the mighty have fallen, BlackBerry is exhibit A. In 2009, just four years ago, it accounted for 50 percent of the market share in smartphones. By August of 2013, that number had dropped to 3 percent.

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