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  (Source: deborahschenck.com)
It will go out to more than 30 major news publications across nine countries on October 15

BlackBerry will send a letter out via print media tomorrow in an effort to let BlackBerry users know that they "can continue to count on BlackBerry."

BlackBerry has had a rough time, and it's constantly all over the news. It once went from a big player in the U.S. smartphone market with 14 percent market share in 2011. Today, it has less than 3 percent. 

To clear a few things up and restore user's faith in the company, BlackBerry will release a letter in more than 30 major news publications across nine countries on October 15. The company is hoping the letter will reach many people who may not read Internet articles, and even those who do (but have seen nothing but headlines about BlackBerry's doom).  

Here's the letter:

To our valued customers, partners and fans,

You’ve no doubt seen the headlines about BlackBerry. 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.

How do we know? 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 percent in order to run a very efficient, customer-oriented organization.

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

One thing we will never change is our commitment to those of you who helped build BlackBerry into the most trusted tool for the world’s business professional.

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

Best in class productivity tool.

We have completely revamped our device portfolio this year with the launch of BlackBerry 10. We have four BlackBerry 10 devices – two all touch and two hybrid (touch and QWERTY) – and all are running the third update of our new platform. If what you care about most is getting things done – taking care of your business – we have the best range of devices for you. And we continue to offer the best mobile typing experience – no ifs, ands or buts about it.
Best in class security.

Governments all over the world, global corporations and businesses that simply cannot compromise on security choose and trust BlackBerry. Security is our heritage, and the industry recognizes that BlackBerry is the most secure when it comes to the device, server and, of course, our global data network. Have no doubt that you can continue to trust us to keep your communication safe and private.

Best in class enterprise mobility management.

We changed with the market, embracing BYOD because we understand that as iOS and Android devices become common in the workplace, businesses still need to manage all of these different platforms seamlessly and securely.

This is not a trivial task. While there are a number of startup companies that make bold claims, BlackBerry has more software engineers and the most resources dedicated to developing the most innovative solutions to address this complex challenge.

And our customers know it. Over the past quarter, our BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 server base grew from 19,000 to more than 25,000. Corporate clients are committed to deploying and testing the latest enterprise technology from BlackBerry. We are committed to evolving with our customers. That will never change.

Best in class mobile social network.

We are bringing the most engaging mobile messaging platform to all, with our BBM launch for Android and iPhone.

There are already around six million customers pre-registered to be notified of our roll out. This number is growing every day, and speaks to the tremendous opportunity we have to expand BBM beyond BlackBerry smartphones to make it the world’s largest mobile social network.

Yes, there is a lot of competition out there and we know that BlackBerry is not for everyone. 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. 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. We focus every day on what it takes to make sure that you can take care of business.

You trust your BlackBerry to deliver your most important messages, so trust us when we deliver one of our own: You can continue to count on us.

Sincerely,
The BlackBerry Team


BlackBerry has a lot of cleaning up to do. After losing significant market share to the likes of Android and iOS, BlackBerry's latest line of devices and operating system -- BlackBerry 10 (BB10) -- failed to take off and steal back its market share earlier this year. Both BB10 hardware releases -- the Z10 and Q10 -- have largely flopped. T-Mobile even took BlackBerry devices off of its shelves.

BlackBerry's board of directors announced the formation of a Special Committee to explore strategic alternatives last month to enhance the value and accelerate the development of BB10. The announcement came only a few days after a report surfaced that BlackBerry might go private in an attempt to fix its problems away from the public. 

Later in September, it was reported that BlackBerry expected a GAAP net operating loss of $950 to $995 million for fiscal Q2 2014. The company also agreed to a $4.7 billion sale with Fairfax Financial at that time. 

In an interesting twist, former BlackBerry CEO and co-founder Mike Lazaridis said he and fellow co-founder Doug Fregin would try to buy the company back. Many are unsure if this is a good idea, considering they were part of BlackBerry's fall to failure.

Source: CrackBerry



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Seriously?
By melgross on 10/14/2013 9:32:25 PM , Rating: 2
This note from Blackberry is a joke. It's interesting that just a few weeks ago they were saying that corporations were TESTING BB10 server in 25,000 installations, up from 19,000 corporations TESTING BB10 server. Now it's 25,000 USING BB10 server. In three weeks?

And then, how many had been using BB7 server, and how many are still using it? I'd bet that the number was much more than ten times 25,000, but that it's much less now. They don't want to talk about that, of course.

How about the fact that they sold almost no Q10‘s whatsoever?

The rest is just wishful thinking.

It's sad, but true.




RE: Seriously?
By ritualm on 10/14/2013 9:37:36 PM , Rating: 2
Smoke and mirrors.

Pretend the great BB meltdown never happened.


RE: Seriously?
By retrospooty on 10/14/2013 9:53:46 PM , Rating: 2
Print media... more proof they just don't get anything anymore


RE: Seriously?
By greenchinesepuck on 10/15/13, Rating: -1
RE: Seriously?
By retrospooty on 10/15/2013 8:17:12 AM , Rating: 2
Coming from you Pirks, the guy that sat here and argued that BB10 would save the company and sales would surge. Well, they didnt... In fact the 1st full quarter after BB10's release saw a billion dollar loss. The only thing about that sale/demise is that it's timing was off by a bit and you know it.


RE: Seriously?
By greenchinesepuck on 10/16/2013 7:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
I said BB10 is likely to save the company and I was right - at least BB got some fighting chance with it, it did much better than it would without it. As for Mick's lies about sale before the end of 2012 - that was a lie and you know it.


RE: Seriously?
By slunkius on 10/17/2013 1:13:49 AM , Rating: 2
oh, but BB did try to sell itself, called it "looking for strategic options". and nobody was interested, probably due to BB price being unrealistic due to your PR campaign :)


RE: Seriously?
By greenchinesepuck on 10/18/2013 4:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
Hi Thorsten #2 :)))


RE: Seriously?
By troysavary on 10/15/2013 6:18:29 AM , Rating: 2
BlackBerry's target market probably still reads print media. They have finally abandoned the fickle consumer market and are trying to regroup where their traditional strengths were. It is probably too late, but BB might be able to survive as a niche device for the business markets that already have a lot tied up in BB infrastructure.


RE: Seriously?
By melgross on 10/15/2013 12:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
I seriously doubt it. It has been said by almost everyone, including Blackberry themselves, that they needed to become more popular with consumers. Now that they know that consumers no longer want any part of them they are officially abandoning them.

The problem is that despite whatever security concerns business and government has, it's just a very small part of their fleet of phones. So a large company that had 20,000 Blackberry phones now has 18,000 iPhones and 2,000 Blackberry's. That may still seem to be a viable business, but the real question is whether they will even retain the 2,000.

My feeling is that there are just a very few in any major organization that really do need the extra security that Blackberry supposedly offers, and for everyone else, the iPhone is more than secure enough. But what is that number? Out of the 20,000, is it 1,000, 500, 250 or just 50?

And that's Blackberry's major problem. If it's just a tiny fraction, then that's not enough. Can they survive just selling a million phones a year? How about a quarter that number?

And then, Blackberry makes a lot of money charging carriers fees for carrying Blackberry. Now, because of the lack of interest, carriers are pushing back on those fees. That's a major profit area for Blackberry. Almost all profit, and it's going away.

And what about BES BB10? With such a small potential number of Blackberry's in an organization, will organizations want to bother with that? Blackberry says that they now also manage Android and iPhones, but really, articles about that in the computer business publications that cover that sort of thing extensively say that they don't manage Android and iOS nearly as extensively as Blackberry phones. That means that the product isn't very useful. And there are a number of companies that have been doing this for several years now, successfully. And at any rate, total business for all of those companies doing that was not much more than $500 million last year. That's not enough to keep Blackberry around, assuming that they took the entire field over for themselves.

There's nothing more that they can do. Even if there was, it's two years too late. We're seeing Lazaridis looking to buy the company back. But he's the guy that did this to them. In reports about the company, when they were looking at the Z10, he held it and said that he didn't understand it, but held a Blackberry with keyboard, and said that he understood that. His point being that they should have released the Q10 first, and maybe not even released the Z10.

We'll never know now, but the fact that the Q10 totally bombed, even though Heins had stated before the release that there was "tremendous pent up demand for it" might show that if they did, Blackberry's results would have been much worse two quarters earlier.

You know, we've read that since Apple did it, Blackberry could come back too. But no matter what some people here may think of Apple and Steve Jobs, it can't be denied that there was genius there, and that there is none at Blackberry.


RE: Seriously?
By flatrock on 10/15/2013 9:38:27 AM , Rating: 3
If they put it in the print media, it will make it into the online media. The reverse is less true, and there are probably a lot of corporate decision makers (an essential target for Blackberry) that still prefer print media.


RE: Seriously?
By Motoman on 10/15/2013 1:24:02 PM , Rating: 2
Right, because if they put it in print media it won't get replicated all across the internet for free.

Oh wait...


Good to see he got a new job...
By Belegost on 10/14/2013 11:51:26 PM , Rating: 4
I take it this was written by the former Iraqi Minister of Information.

"There are no Androids in business. None anywhere!"

"Let the Apple infidels bask in their illusion"

"The technology press is lies! All lies! All they tell is lies and more lies!"

""They're not even within 100 million sales of Blackberry. They are not in any
place. They hold no place in the market. This is an illusion ... they are
trying to sell to the others an illusion."




They are just too slow
By flatrock on 10/15/2013 9:35:42 AM , Rating: 2
They have cash. They have no debt. But they also don't seem to be able release reliable products in a timely manner. They can cut all the costs they like, but if they can't bring good products to market they are going to fail, and cutting costs doesn't go hand in hand with shorter development cycles and more thoroughly tested and debugged products.

I think BB10 was a good direction for the company to take, but the executed it to late and far, far too slowly. They can't go back in time and fix the too late part, but if they don't fix the too slowly part everything they release will be close to irrelevant when it gets released.




RE: They are just too slow
By melgross on 10/15/2013 1:28:11 PM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, the amount of money they have is very small. The reason why it increased over a year is that Blackberry was preparing for a sale since last year, even though it got that press recently over the new attempt. They were doing what all companies that put themselves up for sale do, and that is to cut expenses as much as possible in order to make the books look as good as possible.

It should have seemed curious to people that despite severely dropping sales and accumulating losses, they were increasing their cash and investment position. This is always a sign that the company is cutting back on R&D and marketing. And then they sold most of their buildings and manufacturing facilities, with which they did some of their own manufacturing. And then came all the firings. This is how they built up the cash. The quarter before they also received almost $500 million in a tax refund, so it was all very artificial.

But last quarter, that small $3.1 billion shrunk to $2.6 billion because they now have to dip into it to run the company, as sales are no longer providing enough capital for that purpose. I don't believe they have enough to keep them afloat for more than a few more quarters. If sales take another large fall, they will be in rougher shape. And the new firings are going to cost several hundred million, which is money they can't afford to spend with the reality of the latest results.


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