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BlackBerry taking out newspaper ads to reassure customers

  • With the company seeing plunging smartphone shipments, conducting huge layoffs, and evaluating M&A options, BlackBerry (BBRY +0.9%) has decided to take out full-page ads in major newspapers, including the WSJ and Washington Post, to soothe customers worried about its future.
  • The ads are set to appear tomorrow, and will feature an open letter. "You’ve no doubt seen the headlines about BlackBerry. You’re probably wondering what they mean for you ... You can continue to count on BlackBerry ... We have substantial cash on hand and a balance sheet that is debt free."
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Comments (35)
  • MorganBucks
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Trust in the Berry!
    14 Oct 2013, 04:24 PM Reply Like
  • 4ronk
    , contributor
    Comments (73) | Send Message
     
    I would hope that the ads would say that our products will continue to be available and will have our full support.
    14 Oct 2013, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • pat45
    , contributor
    Comments (391) | Send Message
     
    they should have put these out months ago when I said stores told me not to by bbry phones as company bankrupt...really crimped sales...also should publish a review of their phones and their support
    14 Oct 2013, 07:08 PM Reply Like
  • Dampflok
    , contributor
    Comments (961) | Send Message
     
    After they put themselves up for sale, isn't that out of their hands anyway?
    14 Oct 2013, 09:30 PM Reply Like
  • fdave57
    , contributor
    Comments (48) | Send Message
     
    And what did,they expect putting itself up for sale anyway?
    14 Oct 2013, 04:33 PM Reply Like
  • vbbv
    , contributor
    Comments (103) | Send Message
     
    Full page ads to soothe customers are unlikely to soothe customers, given, you know, the need to actually put out said ads.

     

    What a joke.
    14 Oct 2013, 04:36 PM Reply Like
  • Cliff Hilton
    , contributor
    Comments (2034) | Send Message
     
    @vbbv, What would you do under these circumstances? This is a step in the right direction. "Bears' had a lot to say of late. Yes, Blackberry has given them plenty to talk about. I would think this is good for all.
    14 Oct 2013, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • ATInsider
    , contributor
    Comments (424) | Send Message
     
    BBRY should have assured customers that they are here to stay and will continue to concentrate and grow the BB10 platform.

     

    All this restructuring and looking for strategic partnerships and/or a possible buyer is completely normal. BBRY realizes the industry has changed and despite how awesome BB10 is they require assistance to further push the platform into people's hands.
    The only issue I see is the timing of this strategic review which left many people wondering and gave the bashers ammunition to fabricate doom and gloom nonsense. 
    14 Oct 2013, 10:03 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (3493) | Send Message
     
    AT

     

    "completely normal?" Yes, if you are a food processor and half your inventory at the grocer's is recalled for food poisoning and no one wants to buy it for a year for fear it wasn't isolated. Yes, if you are a drug company and your medicine is found to have quite a few MORE bad side effects than originally found during trials.

     

    If you wish to call doubters 'bashers' than what do you call yourselves? Saints? Angels-on-earth? The obvious derogatory term is 'pumpers' and you are pumping from a dry well.

     

    The BB10 platform is as dead as Benito Mussolini. There is hope of finding value in the shards, but if everything was completely normal, you'd be deciding between offers rather than wondering if one can get funded.

     

    "Completely normal" sounds like the evaluation of a Romney pollster on election eve..
    14 Oct 2013, 10:18 PM Reply Like
  • sfinvestor
    , contributor
    Comments (1140) | Send Message
     
    Action speaks louder than words.

     

    Strategic alternatives, cancelled Q&A, accepting an inviation to offer with one side terms, etc. etc.

     

    And don't kid yourself, BBRY as a busness is dead, no matter what the letter says.

     

    Best in class blah, blah, blah, None of them are quantifyable or measureable so read it with a grain of salt. If it was any good, there is no need for this letter. The irony is this should heightened your worry.
    14 Oct 2013, 04:51 PM Reply Like
  • Z10isgreat
    , contributor
    Comments (303) | Send Message
     
    I imagine BB is taking out ads in the WSJ WP and G&M primarily because they cannot trust any of the above to print a true story about BB. I wish they had taken the ads out to promote the Z10 and the Z30 though.
    14 Oct 2013, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • kevinek
    , contributor
    Comments (7) | Send Message
     
    ads in papers in USA that well known Blackberry market?
    14 Oct 2013, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • newportironman
    , contributor
    Comments (5) | Send Message
     
    I've read the full version of the ad and for one am relieved. Blackberry has sat back way too long as a punching bag without saying a word. Totally happy w/ the BB10 OS - find it to be the most compelling and productive OS in the world. Be nice if some of the critics actually used it for a week before jumping back to the "home button" world.
    14 Oct 2013, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • usajordi
    , contributor
    Comments (207) | Send Message
     
    One last chance to improve!
    Nothing is really dead yet!
    I hope they move as fast as they can.
    A good sign would be if they could finally release a successful BBM working great with Android and iOS.
    Good luck BBRY!
    14 Oct 2013, 05:12 PM Reply Like
  • tiger8896
    , contributor
    Comments (643) | Send Message
     
    I guess you have to counter the perception you don't have a future but if someone doesn't acquire them this company doesn't have a future.
    14 Oct 2013, 05:24 PM Reply Like
  • Dantes_Will
    , contributor
    Comments (387) | Send Message
     
    "Plenty of cash on hand" is downright dishonest when you have only 2.6 Billion and just burned 1 BILLION in the last quarter alone.

     

    And the 1 billion dollar write down was mostly due to Z10 inventory. The Q series and Z30 have not been accounted for in this write off. BBRY is looking at ANOTHER half Billion in hardware write downs the next quarter.

     

    And, on top of all of hardware write downs, it will cost BBRY another 400 Million in severances to cut half of their work force this winter.

     

    The biggest illusion to a rookie value investor is "cash on hand." In a failing company, cash on paper can disappear seemingly overnight.

     

    And as we saw in the Nortel case, billions of 'paper assets' mysteriously vanished in less than a quarter, leaving their shareholders wondering where all that cash went...
    14 Oct 2013, 05:47 PM Reply Like
  • dserradas
    , contributor
    Comments (52) | Send Message
     
    My wife and I were in a Verizon store this w/e getting her a new phone. While checking out I overheard 2 teenagers walk up to the Blackberry devices. One said to the other "yo, who wants a blackberry...did you hear they went bankrupt?"

     

    I think the damage is done, their name is tarnished beyond repair. I am LONG this stock with an average price of $12, but I'd like to see this deal or deals go through so I can get out of this mess. The only silver lining is the writeoff for my taxes.
    14 Oct 2013, 06:01 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (3493) | Send Message
     
    dserradas

     

    Thank your lucky stars the 'in' price is relatively low. If the standing offer gets done, you are probably trapped at $9. Theoretically, someone else might come in and we've kicked the idea of maybe $12 or a Hail Mary to $15 but beyond that is Fantasy Football space.

     

    Financing seems to be an issue for either of the proposed blockholders who are interested. So if nothing gets done, the $9 won't hold and it will get uglier. Oddly, there could be ways to sell or license portions of this that make sense. Some believe bringing back retail is possible - I do not. But it could be profitable and sharply cut expenses to focus on the enterprise security aspect.

     

    If there was a credible new management team in place and BBRY was going to forge ahead on its own, I'd consider being a buyer. They have the assets to do that transition and surely the expertise.

     

    Not that you couldn't sell, take the loss and start over in a month. If these deals fail the road back won't be quick.
    14 Oct 2013, 06:50 PM Reply Like
  • Cliff Hilton
    , contributor
    Comments (2034) | Send Message
     
    @dserradas,

     

    Blackberry is making money. I don't swallow all the decent shared here. Blackberry double Z10 sales in a quarter. Some of my young staff at my restaurant have Blackberry's. A few more will "upgrade" to Blackberry when their contracts end. Hang in there, I still have "all" my shares. I will keep them even after the deal. I hope they stay public....
    14 Oct 2013, 06:42 PM Reply Like
  • Toastypro
    , contributor
    Comments (432) | Send Message
     
    I'll trust it more when changing the company name back to RIMM. Since the Blackberry name is tainted it should change back to RIMM and people will only remember Blackberry as a Fruit or jam once the name is changed back.
    14 Oct 2013, 06:51 PM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (3493) | Send Message
     
    Why, sure Mr. Toastypro... I bet that isn't your real name either!

     

    :)
    14 Oct 2013, 06:54 PM Reply Like
  • Toastypro
    , contributor
    Comments (432) | Send Message
     
    Research In Motion is a great name which has everything to do with next gen high tech stuff, while Blackberry is only good for jams or wine which is only possible in smooshed form. I guess someone up there knew its destiny all along when choosing that name.

     

    :)
    14 Oct 2013, 07:39 PM Reply Like
  • markrpat
    , contributor
    Comments (228) | Send Message
     
    "Have no doubt that you can continue to trust us to keep your communication safe and private."

     

    Bet the top guys spent a couple of days with lawyers wrangling over this double-speak.
    14 Oct 2013, 07:24 PM Reply Like
  • champ1
    , contributor
    Comments (110) | Send Message
     
    Oh my gosh, where were their advisors and marketing people when this first started. It could have been handled so differently. How they let this happen and waited so long to defend themselves is unbelievable. Timing is everything and action speaks louder than words. Despite the incredible delay, hope they can walk the talk and get Blackberry back on track.
    14 Oct 2013, 07:51 PM Reply Like
  • the one ring to rule them all
    , contributor
    Comments (38) | Send Message
     
    @Dantes_Will, comments like yours are half the problem. They did not burn through 1 billion dollars last, quarter. If people would make truthful comments, or take a minute to understand what they are reading before they try to pass a message along, things would be a lot better. Don't bother commenting back about this comment with something like, oh sorry I should have said only half a billion, like that is better. It is better, it doubles the amount of time they have. By the way, they have half a billion dollars coming back to them from taxes, so it sounds to me like a break even.
    14 Oct 2013, 09:32 PM Reply Like
  • customize
    , contributor
    Comments (139) | Send Message
     
    Rim will be much, much better off during business in the private sector.
    14 Oct 2013, 09:53 PM Reply Like
  • yongzhou
    , contributor
    Comments (208) | Send Message
     
    They wrote down 950 million in losses. So round it to a billion in loss.

     

    Newspaper ads. Why would anyone believe one word from a company which state just two months ago that sales were going well.
    Remember the Detwiller report and how Heins called that a lie and
    then it turned out to be true. to So more write offs as the junk phones continue to be returned. Then the mass of lawsuits will have to be settled , more of them every day. So the cash is gone or soon will be. The deceptions and the stock pumping continues. FAke reports of buyers for the company. so forth. There will be criminal charges before this is over
    14 Oct 2013, 11:39 PM Reply Like
  • MPF94025
    , contributor
    Comments (745) | Send Message
     
    Too bad that the BB10 OS, which I find better than iOS or malware prone Android is seeing such rough times. It is doubtful that after so many misleading statements from BBRY there is much to "trust" in what the BBRY exec team has to say. What they reported at the June QE didn't happen; what they reported at the AGM didn't happen; and, they released QE information a week ahead of schedule in Sept catching investors and entire market off guard. Compensation packages, "failed bid" deals, etc, the BOD is literally out of control.

     

    As the the subject of this "market current", regarding the ads appearing on Tuesday regarding "ongoing support" of BBRY users, here is my experience from a trouble shooting call tonight.

     

    A longtime RIM user, in March I purchases a Z10, got accustomed to it over a week or two, worked well, quickly became my favorite communications phone over iPhone 5. During this period, I had a few tech support calls to A&T, in fact increasingly improved communication with AT&T, AT&T dedicated BBRY support, and rapid transfer over to dedicated BBRY support. My first problems were with BB Link. As OS updates came out, many of these issues were resolved.

     

    Then in July I experienced "out of the blue" the "SOS" led "three light" blinking pattern reported on BBRY devices and my Z10 wouldn't boot (this problem documented on the web, no known cause, phone just dies). Over a few hours I got through AT&T, AT&T BBRY support, and direct BBRY support. Lots of troubleshootin: the next day I had a refurb Z10, worked fine from a backup.

     

    Fast forward from July with my refurb Z10, doing well, reading about tomorrow's ads with some optimism.

     

    Tonight, I picked up my Z10 to respond to emails. I noticed the "SOS" blinking led lights in upper right Z10. Ugh. Just like July. Z10 won't boot, blank "black" screen, can't be recognized by computer, can't reload software, nothing shows up on screen., etc, etc. It's like having a Windows OS with a corrupt OS that won't boot. but even worse (at least with a corrupt Windows OS you can reboot from CD and reinstall OS). Here, BB Link won't even connect to reload/reset device.

     

    So, I called AT&T this evening. Unlike prior experiences just a couple of months ago, I was not passed from AT&T basic support to dedicated AT&T BBRY support, I was told AT&T BBRY support was closed: I was actually informed told that I was speaking with AT&T Android support ("who were equipped to help with BBRY tech support issues"). I asked them to put me through to BBRY direct support. After a half hour waiting, they said they could not reach BBRY support "weren't sure they were open", even though I've spoken with them in the past 24x7 at times. Their best "offer" was a refurb phone to be shipped out, or I could check a local AT&T service center tomorrow morning to see if they had one in stock. Bottom line is that A&T has cut back on BBRY support, and even BBRY support is not as available just as it was a few months ago.

     

    First point is, yes, I still prefer my Z10 to my iPhone 5: how much longer, I don't know.

     

    Second point is that the BBRY statement that they are supporting "fans, users", dedicated to the BBRY experience, etc is garbage and providing one more misleading statement in a series of lies. I share this not out of wanting to trash BBRY: I wish just the opposite. I share this news for those out there who will read the ad and be duped yet again that BBRY is "now" telling the truth about the direction the company is taking with its "restructuring". Listening to the current BBRY BOD is like listening to compulsive liars.

     

    There has been comments from BBRY investors and fans about "frivolous" lawsuits. To those of you who feel this way, my experience is just one more piece of data that shows that BBRY is manipulating information to preserve the image of the company to its users and potential buyers/investors.

     

    Only the likes of Cisco, IBM, etc actually know how much of this company they actually might make use of and/or what they want to pay/buy. I am just as much in the dark as to whether this will be $5 or $9 as PW says or $12+ as some hope as the days tick by. But the only thing that is reinforced by these ads is that the CEO and BOD are deceitful, are not believable, and WSJ/NYT ads etc or not, their statements about the company, whether it be sales, or financial reserves, or # of BES installations (again, no info on who is kicking the tires vs committed installations) can not be trusted.

     

    I've taken some inexpensive long options should a reasonable bid come through, but for those of you who are still willing to believe any financial statements, projections, long term prospects, coming from the current management team, think twice before basing any investment decisions. If there is any hope, it will come from a new management team to save what I think is a preferable OS to what's currently available.

     

    As far as RIM being in the public or private sector, it won't matter as much as who is in charge. It could be a new management team with better financial support; it could be privatization; etc. It needs leadership from serious tech and business executives who don't have their heads in the ground and who can re-establish trust with the market, investors, and consumers.
    15 Oct 2013, 01:22 AM Reply Like
  • Randal James
    , contributor
    Comments (3493) | Send Message
     
    MPF

     

    Condolences, man. 'at sucks.
    15 Oct 2013, 01:45 AM Reply Like
  • rudedogg585
    , contributor
    Comments (69) | Send Message
     
    Ive had my Blackberry Z10 since March( Tmobile 100 down 20 dollars a month for 24 monthsi. Ive loved it ever since. I didnt like Bing as my browser, so I went to the Google browser and downloaded it and made it an icon on my homepage. No probs here baby. Only waiting for the bigger blackberry Z30 for easy reading.
    15 Oct 2013, 02:40 AM Reply Like
  • keentolearn
    , contributor
    Comments (132) | Send Message
     
    With each passing day they are burning their cash. How long cash continue to appear in their balance sheet and what remains next.
    15 Oct 2013, 03:59 AM Reply Like
  • atnmpg
    , contributor
    Comments (57) | Send Message
     
    It must feel good to pick on the weak one. But really, what do the bashers really think they'll gain from here? The SP will go to $6? Or BK? This is as delusional as longs hoping for the opposite. Ok why not? Let's all get delusional and write our god knowing truths. BBRY will survive as a niche mobile company servicing companies, governments and individuals requiring secure and reliable mobile solutions. And that will be worth way more than $4B.
    15 Oct 2013, 05:24 AM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (434) | Send Message
     
    Notice how every article about Blackberry starts off with a negative tone. "plunging sales, hugh layoffs" then at the end a few words about the positive news!
    15 Oct 2013, 09:21 AM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (434) | Send Message
     
    Actually i don't think the letter will help them at all. It will probably back fire. They are constantly contradicting themselves. They also announced that they are open to breaking up the company. How does it reassure the customer? Give me a break! This BOD is totally incompetent. How can you expect things to get better when you put the company up for sale months into a new product launch. announce they are okay with busting up the company, and then expect to retain customers. Why haven't they done the proper thing and resign, other managers and CEO's have done that!
    15 Oct 2013, 12:21 PM Reply Like
  • Crazy Mazy
    , contributor
    Comments (434) | Send Message
     
    Why so many silly comments about a letter. What was wrong with publishing a letter to reassure customers. It makes a lot of sense since all the the media does is starts off articles with " the struggling smartphone maker" So if the media is being negative and driving away customers, maybe they should tell enterprise customers who would love nothing better that to buy BB products that they intend to continue doing business. As far as TH not signing the letter maybe it's because he got his golden shower and wants to go away!
    16 Oct 2013, 04:14 AM Reply Like
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