If you somehow didn’t already know it, things haven’t been going too well for BlackBerry in recent years. The company whose rise and fall in the smartphone market has been well documented currently faces a somewhat uncertain future, but those running the show are by no means about to throw in the towel.
Demonstrating its determination to soldier on, the Waterloo, Ontario company is today publishing an open letter in 30 newspapers – including the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times – across 9 countries that seeks to reassure “valued customers, partners and fans” that “you can continue to count on BlackBerry.”
The media campaign comes as the company attempts to secure a buyer for the business, with a consortium led by Toronto-based Fairfax Financial currently the front runner, though BlackBerry co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fredin are also said to be considering a bid.
The 650-word letter points out that despite lots of “dramatic” headlines in recent months, the company still has plenty to feel good about, and isn’t about to pack up and disappear.
It talks of “substantial cash on hand and a balance sheet that is debt free,” adding that it is “restructuring with a goal to cut our expenses by 50 percent in order to run a very efficient, customer-oriented organization.”
That restructuring involves cutting its global workforce by around 40 percent – some 5,000 jobs – by the end of this year.
The company admits all is not sweetness and light just now and claims it’s in no way underestimating the seriousness of its situation or ignoring the challenges that lie ahead.
The letter continues: “One thing we will never change is our commitment to those of you who helped build BlackBerry into the most trusted tool for the world’s business professional.”
It then attempts to paint things in a more positive light, with various explanations under sub-headings such as “best in class productivity tool” and “best in class security”.
‘There is a lot of competition out there’
The mobile maker acknowledges the fact that “there is a lot of competition out there” and even admits that “BlackBerry is not for everyone.”
For those still a part of the BlackBerry community, the company had this to say:
“Countless world-changing decisions have been finalized, deals closed and critical communications made via BlackBerry. And for many of you that created a bond, a connection that goes back more than a decade.
“We believe in BlackBerry – our people, our technology and our ability to adapt. More importantly, we believe in you. We focus every day on what it takes to make sure that you can take care of business.”
Signed by “the BlackBerry Team”, the letter ends, “You trust your BlackBerry to deliver your most important messages, so trust us when we deliver one of our own: You can continue to count on us.”
With most BlackBerry-related reports understandably focusing on the company’s current woes, the struggling mobile maker evidently feels the need to put forward its side of the story in a bid to show customers it’s serious about dealing with its problems. As for whether these customers will be persuaded to stick with the platform – we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.
The letter can be read in full here.