In short, the letter states that despite the struggling smartphone maker's significant challenges, they want you to know "You can continue to count on BlackBerry."
We've heard this one before... By leading off with a broad-reaching statement like that, it's very clear BlackBerry is attempting to get out in front of the perception its platform is dead.
But before you go blindly accepting this comforting gesture, let's dig in to examine the letter's claims to see if they actually hold water.
First, BlackBerry cites its goal to cut operating expenses by 50% by the end of its fiscal first quarter in 2015 -- an effort which notably began with its decision to lay off around 4,500 workers a few weeks ago -- while vaguely citing "substantial cash on hand and a balance sheet that is debt free" as evidence it will be able to continue operating.
True, BlackBerry did say at the end of Q2 it had $2.6 billion in cash and no debt. But remember that's down $500 million sequentially from $3.1 billion at the end of June, which means they just burned through nearly a sixth of their cash in a single quarter. That's also not to mention the $400 million restructuring charge BlackBerry disclosed in an SEC filing earlier this month -- but you certainly won't find that information among its press releases.
Worse yet, despite the layoffs, BlackBerry's hardware division could continue burning cash going forward, so citing the strength of its current cash position as evidence of its enduring qualities seems specious at best.
Best in class? What's more, BlackBerry's letter also states it's important they "set the record straight on a few things," including several areas the company believes it offers "Best in Class" solutions.
Naturally, they don't need to stretch far to argue BlackBerry offers solid security and enterprise mobility management products. After all, as the letter points out, BlackBerry's Enterprise Service 10 server base did grow by more than 30% sequentially to 25,000 last quarter. It should come as no surprise, then, that BlackBerry told investors a few weeks ago that it is refocusing on the "prosumer market" going forward.
But its other claims seem to be mostly fluff, including the assertion BlackBerry provides "best in class productivity tool[s]" through its revamped portfolio of four BlackBerry 10 devices.
Remember, massive inventory writedowns stemming from weak BB10 device sales were the primary driver behind BlackBerry's stunning $965 million GAAP loss last quarter. All in all, that's why it seems more than a little silly when the letter goes on to brag that BlackBerry offers the "best mobile typing experience -- no ifs, ands or buts about it."