BlackBerry writes open letter to ‘set the record straight’

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Still use a BlackBerry or thinking about buying one? The company wants you to know everything is going to be OK.

BlackBerry has published an open letter as part of an all-out media blitz designed to reassure nervous customers that the Canadian company will not go under.

“These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges,” the company wrote in the letter, which it posted on its website Monday. “We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.”


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In the letter, which also is to be published in 30 newspapers around the world on Tuesday, BlackBerry says users have “no doubt seen the headlines” about the company.

“And speaking of those dramatic headlines, it’s important that we set the record straight on a few things,” it said.

Those headlines include news that BlackBerry had struck a tentative deal to be bought by a Canadian insurance company for $4.7 billion. That led to a separate filing by BlackBerry’s co-founders, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, that said the duo might finance their own takeover.

And there was BlackBerry’s disclosure last month that it planned to lay off about 4,500 employees, or about 40% of its workforce. It also said it lost nearly $1 billion in its most recent quarter.

Oh yeah, and Apple reportedly has been recruiting BlackBerry’s employees.


Despite all that bad news, BlackBerry said in its letter that it has substantial cash on hand and a balance sheet that is debt free. It plans to restructure, with a goal to cut expenses 50%.

The company also said customers “can continue to trust us to keep your communication safe and private” and noted that it recognized iOS and Android devices have become more common in the workplace. BlackBerry said it was working on a solution to help businesses manage all the different platforms “seamlessly and securely.”

It also acknowledged that it couldn’t appeal to everybody.

“Yes, there is a lot of competition out there and we know that BlackBerry is not for everyone,” the letter said. “That’s OK.”


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