In an open letter on Monday, BlackBerry Ltd, reassured its numerous customers and partners that the company was financially stable despite announcing massive layoffs and engaging in talks to sell some or all of the company. The Ontario-based company told its stakeholders that they can continue to count on BlackBerry and its products, despite the challenges it is facing and the changes it is undergoing.
Recent speculations that BlackBerry may fade into oblivion has been met with grief by some ardent users of the brand in Nigeria where it has a large market. The phone is a popular brand among members of the business class in the West African country, though it is beginning to experience some significant competition from Apple’s iPhone and Android-based brands like Samsung, HTC, and recently Techno mobile phones. A report in 2012 by BusinessDay
revealed that BlackBerry generates its highest revenue from Nigeria, where it is estimated to account for 20 – 30 percent of unit sales.
BlackBerry tried to re-ignite interest in its brand by launching a new line of smartphones that run on the BlackBerry 10 OS but failed, which prompted it to announce it would cut its global workforce by more than a third.
“Our customers read a lot about BlackBerry these days, as we make the headlines quite often – this has created a lot of noise and confusion” Frank Boulben, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in an interview.
“We want customers to know that they can continue to count on us – we are here to stay. We have substantial cash on our balance sheet and we have no debt. We are restructuring our cost base and this is a very painful transition, but it will make us financially stronger and we want to get that message directly to our customers.”
There are speculations that BlackBerry is in talks with Cisco Systems, Google Inc and SAP on selling all or parts of itself.
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This article was first published on 17th October 2013