BlackBerry Pens Letter to Twitchy Customers

Letter published in full-page newspaper ads across the globe

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 15, 2013 8:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – Days after a research firm advised BlackBerry customers to switch to different devices, the struggling smartphone firm is attempting to reassure customers ... via full-page newspaper ads. "These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don't underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges," reads an open letter from the company obtained by the BBC. "We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry." Bloomberg says the letter will be printed in 30 full-page newspaper ads in nine countries; it will also be sent to customers and partners and published on social media.

The goal: Convince consumers they can still buy a BlackBerry smartphone, without having to worry that the company—which has agreed to sell itself, in theory—will soon be no more. "Our customers read a lot about BlackBerry these days, as we make the headlines quite often," the chief marketing officer tells Reuters. "We want customers to know that they can continue to count on us ... We have substantial cash on our balance sheet and we have no debt." An analyst tells the Washington Post it's a bit risky for BlackBerry to acknowledge its customers are uneasy, but at this point, "they didn't have much to lose." ZDNet has an amusing line-by-line take on the letter, which it says is "painful" to read.

In this Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, file photo, BlackBerry's employees prepare the launch event for the company's new smartphones in London.
In this Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, file photo, BlackBerry's employees prepare the launch event for the company's new smartphones in London.   (Associated Press)
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