With regular reports of impending doom, BlackBerry is in full-fledged damage-control mode, seeking to reassure the public that it is still healthy despite “challenging times.”
The company made an unusual move last week, writing an open letter to its customers that it posted on its website and published in 30 newspapers around the world. In it, BlackBerry said “we don’t underestimate the situation” and that it was “making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.”
But technology analysts and even some long-time BlackBerry fans aren’t buying it.
“The future is very uncertain,” said Amitabh Passi, senior research analyst at UBS. “I still remain fairly skeptical of the long-term prognosis.”
The smartphone pioneer appears headed for a buyout or breakup after years of sales declines.
Although BlackBerry has struck a tentative deal to be bought by a Canadian insurance company, tech watchers say a takeover isn’t a guarantee that BlackBerry will be able to turn itself around. Its brand has been deeply hurt amid lackluster sales and flagging support from consumers, manufacturers and retail partners.
BlackBerry is trying to figure out its next steps. It announced last month that it had reached a preliminary agreement to be bought by a consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings for $4.7 billion. The group plans to take the company private.
BlackBerry cautioned that other prospective buyers could emerge, and indeed, co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Douglas Fregin said in a regulatory filing earlier this month that they were considering a bid for the company.