NEWS

BlackBerry open letter aims to boost public confidence

10/14/2013 07:21 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST
In an unexpected move, BlackBerryhas issued an open letter

“You can continue to count on BlackBerry,”  the letter posted Monday on the company's website says in large bold font. “We have substantial cash on hand and a balance sheet that is debt free. We are restructuring with a goal to cut our expenses by 50 per cent in order to run a very efficient, customer-oriented organization.”

The open letter is expected to be published in major newspapers around the world on Tuesday.

“These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges we are facing,” the letter continues. “We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry."

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The document goes on to list that BlackBerry has the best in class security, enterprise mobility management, mobile social network and is a top level productivity tool.

It also acknowledges the high level of competition in the smartphone market, and plays up the company’s reputation as a phone for the worlds of business and politics.

“We know that BlackBerry is not for everyone,” said the company. “That’s OK. You have always known that BlackBerry is different, that BlackBerry can set you apart. Countless world-changing decisions have been finalized, deals closed and critical communications made via BlackBerry.”   

Big shift from BlackBerry’s usual relationship with media

Carmi Levy, an independent tech analyst who has followed BlackBerry closely for years, says the letter gives the sense that the company is fighting back against the odds.

“I like that sense of defiance, and that sense of gumption, because it’s something that has traditionally been missing from the company’s culture,” said Levy.

He adds that the open letter is like “a 180 degree turn” from the company’s approach to public relations and the media, which is generally regarded as insular and secretive.

As for public response to BlackBerry once the letter is published globally, Levy believes it will be a broad spectrum.

“There will likely be those who simply don’t want to hear anything at this point, they’ve already checked out,” said Levy. “But at the same time, I believe those who are still hanging around the periphery, and those who are still involved in the company’s future, I think this will be seen as a very positive message for them.”

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