BlackBerry isn't done yet. We've been hearing a lot of doom and gloom stories about the company lately, and to be honest we probably haven't seen the last of them, but BlackBerry isn't done yet. They are obviously not ready to be forgotten about, or to fade out into the night. They've got some fight left in them, and it looks like they plan on using every bit of energy they can to stave off what some would believe to be inevitable.
That's one way to look at it. The other way? The other way to look at it is that BlackBerry, the company formerly known as Research In Motion, is simply grasping at straws and hoping to drum up any kind of support they can as they inexorably move towards some kind of future where they aren't building their own smartphones and their own mobile operating system. Some might say that BlackBerry is just swinging wildly, hoping to connect with something, anything at this point.
BlackBerry didn't want all that doom and gloom to continue to be the story, to be the focus, so they issued an open letter to tell the world that everything isn't so bad for the company. It's set to appear in over 30 major news publications today, and it will be seen in over 9 countries. In that letter, BlackBerry acknowledges that the news hasn't been all that happy, but reiterates that they aren't going anywhere.
They're here to stay.
They try to drive that point home by offering up the good things going for the company. Specifically, they talk about their substantial cash-on-hand, and that their financial sheet is debt-free. They also talk about their plans for restructuring, which is an effort to cut their expenses by 50 percent. (Hopefully that isn't trying to spin horrible news --that employees will be getting laid off-- as good news.)
So, that's good news, right? This is where it turns into grasping at straws, if you subscribe to that line of thought. In the open letter, BlackBerry talks about their four smartphones they released this year, and how they're all running their latest updated version of the new mobile operating system (a quick jab at Android, I'm guessing). They establish, again, that they offer "the best mobile typing experience" and that their phones, built around the new BlackBerry 10 OS, are meant for those who like "getting things done."
Finally, just as a reminder, the open letter calls out BlackBerry Messenger for Android and iOS, which was supposed to be already available but missed its launch date due to technical issues. BlackBerry still plans on releasing it, though, and apparently around six million people are signed up to be notified when it does become available. So, BlackBerry may have a future in the software, especially when it comes to their BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.
BlackBerry is still here, and they do have plenty of cash-on-hand to keep on fighting for at least a little while now. And I'll be honest: it's good to see that they plan on fighting it out, and not going out quietly. I'm still rooting for the underdog that is BlackBerry, and I hope that they're able to figure something out that sees them regain plenty of market presence.
Even if that means we get to see physical QWERTY devices running Android, or just full-on "GoogleBerry" devices, I'd be interested to see those devices and to see what they bring to the table. I want to see BlackBerry wow the mobile market again. I've still got my fingers crossed that it's possible.
Do you think BlackBerry has a chance at the future at all, or is the company inevitably doomed to sell itself off, or worse? Are you remotely interested to see any new hardware from the company next year, or new versions of their mobile operating system? Let me know if you're still rooting for BlackBerry or not.