In a Rare Public Plea, BlackBerry Assures Consumers It’s Not Dead… Yet


For more than a year, consumers and analysts alike have been ready to kick dirt onto BlackBerry’s grave. The mobile company has unsuccessfully tried to launch a comeback over the last two years as it watched its smartphone market share be pulled right out from under it by the likes of Apple and Samsung, leaving the Canadian company with nearly nothing but sub-par handsets and unworthy operating systems.

After coming to terms with the fate of its consumer mobile business, BlackBerry announced that it would take up a renewed focus of its B2B business, supplying global companies with mobile phones and software—but that’s if they even want them. And then, after weeks of sale rumors, the company announced that it accepted a bid from Fairfax Financial to be bought for $4.7 billion, but now, even that deal is facing challenges. 

According to Reuters, the company has “announced massive layoffs” and now sources say that competing bids for all or parts of the company have come in from Google, Cisco Systems, SAP and even the company’s founders. Morgan Stanley and UBS AG are “holding off on a switch to BlackBerry 10” and Credit Suisse Group AG isn’t going to upgrade its operating system. Also, an electronics supplier to the company, Jabil Circuit, is reportedly going to stop working with the company soon, which has “raised speculation that BlackBerry will stop making phones altogether,” Bloomberg notes

But BlackBerry doesn’t want to just fade into the blackness.[more]

According to AllThingsD, the company is planning to publish a rare 660-word open letter to consumers on Tuesday in 30 news outlets in nine countries, including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Globe and Mail, and National Post as well on social media in a plea to consumers to not count out the company that was once a global leader in smartphones. 

“You’ve no doubt seen the headlines about BlackBerry,” the letter reads. “You’re probably wondering what they mean for you as one of the tens of millions of users who count on BlackBerry every single day. We have one important message for you: You can continue to count on BlackBerry.”

The letter goes on to include a five-point argument to show just how the debt-free and cash-rich BlackBerry will pull off a Harry Houdini move and escape the locked chains and heavy weights of bad press and conventional wisdom to survive and thrive.

The letter concludes with an appeal to all those who have stuck with BlackBerry so far: “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. 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.”

It remains to be seen just how much the public believes in BlackBerry.

To read the full letter, click over to AllThingsD