BlackBerry to Users: "You Can Continue to Count on Us"
In an open letter to its users yesterday, beleaguered mobile device maker BlackBerry attempted to allay fears surrounding its financial wherewithal and continued viability. Included in the letter is a link to a missive that the company released on Twitter and published in "major publications around the world" in which management declared "you can continue to count on BlackBerry."
In the message released via Twitter and set to be published today in 30 publications in nine countries, BlackBerry highlights its cash position. It had $2.6 billion in cash and equivalents as of Aug. 31, 2013, with no debt on the balance sheet, according to its most recent quarterly earnings report.
BlackBerry's message also noted its efforts to cut expenses by 50%. The company has previously said some of those savings will come from laying off 4,500 employees.
"These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don't underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges we are facing," the company said. "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."
BlackBerry mentioned its products' security features, the new BB10 operating system, and messaging service (BBM) for both Android and iOS as key strengths, and examples of why it is worthy of its customers' confidence. However, the rollouts of BBM for Android and iOS have been delayed, after originally being scheduled for download in late September.
Signed "The BlackBerry Team," the letter published worldwide concluded by saying, "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."
BlackBerry announced last month that Fairfax Financial Holdings, which owns 10% of the company, signed a letter of intent that "contemplates" buying BlackBerry for $9 a share, or $4.7 billion. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, is trying to attract other investors.
Last week, in a filing with the SEC, the founders of Blackberry, Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin, said that they had "entered into an agreement to explore the possibility of submitting a potential joint bid to acquire the shares of [BlackBerry] that they do not currently own."
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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