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Blackberry attempts to build customer confidence through open letter

The struggling Canadian smartphone maker's latest move comes in the wake of recent job cuts and take-over bid.

Blackberry is set to urge its customers, distributors and partners through news paper advertisements to have trust in its future and products as it is moving through challenging times.

The company’s open letter said: “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.”

Frank Boulben, chief marketing officer of BlackBerry, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the advertisements will appear in 30 publications in nine countries, including the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post.

In addition, the company will reveal that it still has a strong balance sheet, substantial cash in hand and is debt free, in the letter.

The firm failed to compete with rivals like Apple and Samsung in generating profits as its new models like Z10 smartphone didn’t encourage customers.

The struggling company’s latest move comes in the wake of recent job cuts and take-over bid. For the second-quarter of 2013, the company posted a net loss of $965m (£600m).

In September, Blackberry said it was planning to cut 4,500 jobs, or 40% of its global workforce, as part of plans to reduce operating expenditures by 50 per cent by the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

A consortium led by Fairfax Financial Holdings signed a letter of intent agreement (LoI) in the same month to acquire outstanding shares of the Canadian smartphone giant BlackBerry for $4.7bn (£3bn). Fairfax currently owns about 10 per cent of common shares in BlackBerry.

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No, David Cameron’s speech was not “left wing”

Come on, guys.

There is a strange journalistic phenomenon that occurs when a party leader makes a speech. It is a blend of groupthink, relief, utter certainty, and online backslapping. It happened particularly quickly after David Cameron’s speech to Tory party conference today. A few pundits decided that – because he mentioned, like, diversity and social mobility – this was a centre-left speech. A leftwing speech, even. Or at least a clear grab for the liberal centre ground. And so that’s what everyone now believes. The analysis is decided. The commentary is written. Thank God for that.

Really? It’s quite easy, even as one of those nasty, wicked Tories, to mention that you actually don’t much like racism, and point out that you’d quite like poor children to get jobs, without moving onto Labour's "territory". Which normal person is in favour of discriminating against someone on the basis of race, or blocking opportunity on the basis of class? Of course he’s against that. He’s a politician operating in a liberal democracy. And this isn’t Ukip conference.

Looking at the whole package, it was actually quite a rightwing speech. It was a paean to defence – championing drones, protecting Britain from the evils of the world, and getting all excited about “launching the biggest aircraft carriers in our history”.

It was a festival of flagwaving guff about the British “character”, a celebration of shoehorning our history chronologically onto the curriculum, looking towards a “Greater Britain”, asking for more “national pride”. There was even a Bake Off pun.

He also deployed the illiberal device of inculcating a divide-and-rule fear of the “shadow of extremism – hanging over every single one of us”, informing us that children in UK madrassas are having their “heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”, and saying Britain shouldn’t be “overwhelmed” with refugees, before quickly changing the subject to ousting Assad. How unashamedly centrist, of you, Mr Prime Minister.

Benefit cuts and a reduction of tax credits will mean the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for “equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome” will be just that – with the outcome pretty bleak for those who end up losing any opportunity that comes with state support. And his excitement about diversity in his cabinet rings a little hollow the day following a tubthumping anti-immigration speech from his Home Secretary.

If this year's Tory conference wins the party votes, it’ll be because of its conservative commitment – not lefty love bombing.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.