BlackBerry publishes open letter to assuage concerns and 'set the record straight' [UPDATED]
Between job cuts, big inventory charges and issues with BBM for Android and iPhone, there's no question that BlackBerry's encountered a few bumps in the road lately. With all of the trouble that the company has gone through lately, some of its fans may be starting to doubt whether or not BlackBerry can survive in the competitive smartphone market. Today the Canadian firm released an open letter to assuage though fears, though, declaring to its customer base that they "can continue to count on BlackBerry."
The letter was published to CrackBerry today and is slated to appear in over 30 major news publications in 9 countries tomorrow. In the letter, BlackBerry says that it's aware of the doom and gloom news headlines and that, while it is going through some tough times, it's not going anywhere. The company says that it's got "substantial cash on hand" along with a debt-free balance sheet and that it's undergoing a restructuring effort to cut expenses by 50 percent.
BlackBerry goes on to point out that its released four new smartphones this year, all of which are running the third update to its brand new mobile platform, and that it offers devices with "the best mobile typing experience" that are all about "getting things done." The firm also highlights its security features and its BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10 management software. Finally, BlackBerry points out that it's still got BBM for Android and iPhone on the way and that approximately 6 million people have signed up to be notified about the rollout of the two apps.
There's been a lot of bad news attached to BlackBerry lately, and so this open letter serves not only as a reassurance to the company's fans that it's not going away, but also to get a more positive message associated with its name. It's been a while since we've gotten any updates on either Fairfax Financial's $4.7 billion acquisition of BlackBerry or the situation with BBM for Android and iPhone, so it's probably a good move for the company to break that silence with this letter. Now we just have to wait and see if all this positivity can help to get those BBM apps out the door and improve BlackBerry's overall situation.
UPDATE: BlackBerry CMO Frank Boulben has told Reuters that he's confident that his company has ironed out the issues that've been delaying the launch of BBM for Android and iPhone and that he expects both apps to launch "within days."