In a response to the quite controversial (and rather insulting) New York Times article which painted BlackBerry users as “embarrassed” to seen with their BlackBerry smartphones, Research in Motion CEO Thorsten Heins has come out defending his company’s products.

The letter accuses the New York Times of a “lack of balance” in their original article.  Thorsten also stated that BlackBerry has over 80 millions customers around the world, and that their customers take pride in their BlackBerry smartphones.

The letter goes on to talk about the customers supporting BlackBerry, the 100,000 apps in BlackBerry App World, the security of the BlackBerry platform, and the upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform.

While negative articles on BlackBerry are not uncommon, RIM has chosen to pick its battles carefully while it tries to change the perception of BlackBerry prior to the launch of the new BlackBerry 10 platform in 2013.

While the current BlackBerry platform does lack much of the applications found on other platforms, the importance of these apps is generally overstated.  Current BlackBerry users choose BlackBerry for a reason, if they didn’t they would have switched already.  Their priorities are messaging above all. For the consumer market, the BlackBerry 7 line-up is clearly not able to compete successfully with the iPhone and Android smartphones for many reasons.

The points made by Thorsten are all valid and does well to clarify the many positive aspects about BlackBerry, which the New York Times article failed to talk about.  As Thorsten has stated, Blackberry users are not embarrassed by their smartphone.  They are simply confident in what they value in a smartphone.

Thorsten seems determined to clarify the facts on BlackBerry to turn the tide of BlackBerry misinformation around.  The later release of the BlackBerry 10 platform is a major reason for the perception issue.  It is difficult to re-establish value in a brand without an available new product to demonstrate it.

Read on past the break to see the letter written by Thorsten Heins.


BlackBerry as Black Sheep in Smartphones” (Business Day, Oct. 16) lacks the balance your readers expect.

With more than 80 million customers globally, BlackBerry is growing and remains one of the world’s most popular smartphones. I’ve just come from visiting carriers and partners in all parts of the world, and they have told me that there are millions of BlackBerry fans out there who not only find great value in their device, but also pride in being a BlackBerry owner.


While any report of dissatisfaction among our users is a cause for concern that I take very seriously, the comments supporting BlackBerry both online and in calls we’ve received from our customers in response to your article are encouraging to me.

BlackBerry remains the leader in providing security for corporate customers, which is why more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500 rely on BlackBerry. It’s true that some companies put restrictions on accessing certain applications for security reasons, but applications like Yelp and OpenTable are, in fact, among the approximately 100,000 apps available in BlackBerry AppWorld.

We’ve received excellent feedback from carriers, developers and partners for our upcoming BlackBerry 10 platform and are on track to deliver it in the first quarter of 2013. We appreciate the customers who have remained loyal to the BlackBerry platform and look forward to winning back many who have left.

President and Chief Executive
Research In Motion
Waterloo, Ontario, Oct. 16, 2012