Up to 6,000 Research in Motion (RIM) employees could lose their jobs this week as the manufacturer looks to streamline operations and reduce costs.

This round of redundancies, which will leave over 35% of RIM’s global workforce unemployed, comes after last years cuts which saw 2,000 contract terminations.

The move is widely considered to be a direct response to the Canadian company’s recent decline in terms of market share and profitability. Since the introduction of Apple’s iOS range and the ubiquitous Android operating system, sales of BlackBerry smartphones and tablets has entered into a sharp decline.

In the first quarter of 2012, RIM’s inventory of BlackBerry devices increased by 18% whereas Apple reported an inventory decrease of 11%. These figures starkly illustrate the waining demand for BlackBerrys which, when compared with such handsets as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy II, are largely considered to be lacking in innovation and user-friendly functionality.

RIM’s recent service issues may have also played a part in user defection to Apple and Android.  In late 2011 the BlackBerry network, which provides data services to all RIM mobile devices, crashed for around 48 hours, leaving thousands of global users without an internet connection.