Research in Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM) CEO Thorsten Heins staunchly defended the reputation of the BlackBerry after the New York Times published a story citing user “dissatisfaction” with the product.

“There are millions of BlackBerry fans out there who not only find great value in their device, but also take pride in being a BlackBerry owner,” Heins wrote in a letter to the newspaper.

He added that with 80 million customers, the Waterloo, Ontario, company is “growing” and the BlackBerry "remains one of the world’s most popular smartphones.”

Heins, elected RIM CEO only in January, said reports of dissatisfaction are ''a cause for concern that I take very seriously,” and that customer comments received after the story was published “are encouraging to me.”

The story didn't offer percentages but did cite certain users as well as companies, including Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), that now offer employees and option to substitute another product.

RIM, which serves 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies, is “on track” to deliver the BlackBerry 10 “in the first quarter of 2013,” Heins wrote.

Shares of RIM fell 9 cents to $7.75 in Friday trading. They’re down 47 percent this year.