Last year wasn't exactly kind to Canadian handset maker BlackBerry as the company was forced to lay off thousands of workers in the wake of continued financial losses as a result of failing to keep pace in the innovative, fast-paced smartphone race.

Things were looking up as 2013 rolled around. BB10 finally launched and since that time, we've been greeted with a small handful of brand new, modern BlackBerry smartphones. Even still, there's a long road ahead - or a "complex transition" - as CEO Thorsten Heins recently put it. It seems that more layoffs are in order to the tune of 250 employees at the company's core research and development center and new product testing facility.

The layoffs were issued earlier this week and have since been confirmed by BlackBerry. The company said the layoffs were necessary to increase efficiencies and scale the company correctly for new opportunities in mobile computing. BlackBerry said they will be as transparent as possible as those plans evolve.

Regardless of the reason, when a major technology company - regardless of specific industry - makes significant cuts to the R&D team, it's probably not a good thing. It's worked thus far as BlackBerry has been able to stay afloat after axing 5,000 jobs last year but eventually, something has to give.

With any luck, BlackBerry's upcoming devices like the A10 will help the company gain a bit more traction and prevent further layoffs. That handset is expected to land on store shelves in November.