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BlackBerry to Cease Operations at Germany's Scoreloop Unit

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Beleaguered Canadian smartphone manufacturer, BlackBerry Limited (BBRY), is reportedly shutting down Scoreloop AG – a German unit. Scoreloop will reportedly cease its operations from Dec 1, 2014. This latest step by the company gives yet another indication that it is focusing more on its enterprise business.

BlackBerry had purchased Scoreloop in 2011 in a bid to increase its device sales by developing more mobile-gaming applications. However, BlackBerry failed to attract customers in this regard, falling flat in the face of stiff competition from Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhones and devices powered by Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android platform.  

BlackBerry’s decision to discontinue Scoreloop AG follows the firing of 65 employees last month, as per media reports. These employees were primarily engaged in developing mobile apps. However, the company has retained nearly 100 employees who are primarily involved in developing apps for enterprise consumers.

In an effort to bring the company back on the profitability track, management is primarily focusing on selling high-margin mobile-device-management (MDM) software and security services that are used by governments and companies. Nevertheless, BlackBerry still retains focus on making profits from its smartphone business and is taking up due strategic measures for the purpose.

Last month, the company struck a licensing deal with Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) to bring the Amazon Appstore to its customers on the BlackBerry 10.3 operating system, scheduled to be launched this fall. This deal will open roads for BlackBerry 10 device users to gain access to more than 240,000 Android applications from the Amazon Appstore, including popular ones like Groupon, Netflix, Minecraft, Pinterest and Candy Crush Saga.

BlackBerry currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Other Stocks to Consider

Another well-placed stock that warrants a look in the wireless industry is America Movil S.A.B. de C.V. (AMX), with the same rank as BlackBerry.

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