“You can continue to count on BlackBerry”. That's the message from the troubled Canadian phone maker, delivered in bold capitals at the start of a 700-word open letter to its “tens of millions of users”.
The missive points to the restructuring already done and the company's self-perceived strengths as reasons to keep faith with the BlackBerry brand, despite the negative headlines swirling around.
That narrative is easy to trace: BlackBerry's once-secure status as king of enterprise smartphones started to slide, it then chose nearly two years ago to instigate a regime change and put all its eggs in one basket with the completely new BlackBerry 10 platform, and is now contemplating selling or being broken up for parts after bleeding $100m or so in the last quarter, with the BB10 revolution being widely preceived as having failed.
Yet BlackBerry still believes in its future, or at least it's trying to get people on the outside to. At the very least it's trying to put a lid on the cycle of negative press it's getting in wave after wave.
The open letter starts by going straight into the reasons why BlackBerry feels we can still count on it:
“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 organisation.
“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.”
After that the letter talks about how BlackBerry is still “best in class” for productivity, security, enterprise mobility management and mobile social neworking.
That last part, of course, is a reference to BBM, which BlackBerry says six million interested Android and iOS users are waiting for notification on. That doesn't mean six million guaranteed users, of course – and we'd bet a large number might have cooled their interest in the wake of the recent headlines on BlackBerry's future.
But it's still some outside attention to what the company does best – solid and secure communication. And that will do a lot more good for BlackBerry than an open letter in the one area that's more important than holding on to its existing users: attracting new ones.
Have a read through the full thing [PDF] and let us know your thoughts.