This man is Galen Gruman.
He is the Executive Editor for Info World.
And he is an iDiot.
Well, Galen has written MANY books. Here’s a few: iPad at Work For Dummies, MacBook Pro Portable Genius, iBooks Author For Dummies. So it would seem Galen isn’t stupid, he just likes to write books for Dummies.
Either way, Galen has a problem with BlackBerry.
In an article dated 18th July, here’s what Galen had to say about BlackBerry and the Passport.
BlackBerry’s Square Smartphone And Other Desperate Moves
(by the way, I put the capital letters in the headline on for him – he didn’t bother)
When you’re desperate, you sometimes do stupid things, though they only worsen your already dire situation. That’s what’s happening at BlackBerry, the struggling smartphone maker now lashing out at a world it doesn’t like while continuing to play at product designs that make no sense.
A year ago, the company brought in a new CEO to turn the page on seven years’ worth of denial that people wanted smartphones to do more than secure messaging. BlackBerry execs pooh-poohed the iPhone, then Android as silly consumer fads, even as more and more businesses adopted at least the iPhone as a secure corporate standard. Last year, the U.S. military granted both the iPhone and some Android devices (those secured with Samsung’s Knox service). No surprise that BlackBerry’s market share is in single digits, down from industry dominance a decade ago.
[ Why it's so hard to believe BlackBerry has a future. | Keep up on key mobile developments and insights with the Mobilize newsletter. ]
That new CEO, John Chen, has talked about returning to BlackBerry’s strengths: supersecure messaging. That’s a small market, but a lucrative one, and frankly it’s the only place where BlackBerry has a shot of being relevant. But that’s a tough nut to crack because, well, BlackBerrys with even the decent BlackBerry 10 OS don’t do much more than serve as messaging devices. The app market for BlackBerry is, simply put, pathetic. And people get smartphones for a helluva lot more uses than messaging.
By attacking competitors, BlackBerry reinforces its desperation
Is BlackBerry working to create a set of compelling, even if niche, apps to make the BlackBerry more than a fancy text-messaging device? It doesn’t seem so. Instead, it attacks competitors like Good Technology, MobileIron, and SGP Technologies (maker of the new highly secure Android-based Blackphone).
Vendors routinely say they’re better than their competitors, but BlackBerry is doing it in an obnoxious way that reeks of desperation, with a “fact check” campaign modeled after smeary election ads. Frankly, all it does is portray BlackBerry as petty and defensive. A self-confident company wouldn’t roll in the mud of perceived slights and alleged misperceptions.
Given BlackBerry’s multiple years of denying reality and claiming apps, iPhones, consumerization, and so on were fads that right-thinking companies would one day recant, this latest hyperdefensiveness brings back to mind all that denial — not what you want to remind customers of.
When BlackBerry slams competitors for daring to say they offer relatively high levels of security, it instead reminds us all how far BlackBerry has fallen — and how its supersecurity pitch is overkill for most users.
For most companies, what mobile management providers like Citrix, Good, and MobileIron provide for the iPhone and even Android is fully adequate. The Blackphone — whose name is no doubt meant to trade on BlackBerry’s security reputation, as well as the “black ops” phrase used in spy circles — is interesting because it brings a deeper level of information security to Android than anything else has to date.
For a while, BlackBerry highlighted its security in a constructive way, showing off how much more secure its BlackBerry platform is for military and other sensitive uses while also promoting its BlackBerry Enterprise Service’s recent support for the good-enough-for-most security in iOS and Android. Then it partially opened up the management of its BlackBerry devices, so enterprises that used other providers’ management tools would be able to keep BlackBerrys in their device mix — a sensible coexistence strategy.
But now BlackBerry is reinforcing its reputation as an old-school product for a tiny niche, using very off-putting tactics to boot. Yeah, that’ll help.
A square BlackBerry gets notice — as another example of not getting it
At the same time, BlackBerry has been semi-officially leaking its Passport device concept, a square-screen BlackBerry that puzzles pretty much anyone who’s seen it. It doesn’t fit in a shirt pocket, a flaw that guarantees it won’t get used. Its keyboard uses a nonstandard aspect ratio, a flaw that will besmirch BlackBerry’s reputation for excellent physical keyboards.
Worse, it doesn’t have a point.
A rectangular screen has the advantage of providing two viewports, one landcsape and one horizontal, so you can adjust the screen view for the content at hand. A square screen eliminates that versatility. It doesn’t offer any additional benefit either. Nothing is really designed to work on a square screen — neither websites nor apps. BlackBerry would need to come up with amazing square apps to change that game, but BlackBerry doesn’t do compelling apps.
The Passport will allegedly ship this September. I don’t want to believe it’s a real product because it’s such a stupid idea. But BlackBerry not only says it’s a real product but that customers who’ve used prototypes are “clamoring” for it. Uh huh.
BlackBerry has said the same thing about every new (failed) product in recent years. Early customers “loved” the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet, but no one bought them. Early customers “loved” the BlackBerry Z10 (which I did like), but no one bought them. Customers “loved” the BlackBerry Q10, a throwback to the once popular, keyboard-oriented BlackBerry Bold, but no one bought the Q10 either.
If that’s love, BlackBerry needs to date someone new.
Perhaps BlackBerry should stop developing smartphones, if it thinks the Passport is a good idea. Such a device only reinforces the cluelessness that BlackBerry has stubbornly clung to since the iPhone first shipped and is not a good message to your potential customers.
I really wish that the folks at BlackBerry would shut up and deliver. The more they talk, the worse they look.
Of course, in the intervening period since Galen wrote this…
1) The Blackphone has been hacked a couple of times making it pointless
2) Apple have been hacked repeatedly and, very infamously, with Fapplegate
3) Android’s Knox has died a death due to the fact that it is pretty much unworkable with an open OS
4) MobileIron/Apple almost wrecked Aviva Insurances business as they were hacked with ease and dashed #BackToBlack asap
5) The buzz about this mysterious square smartphone has gone bananas.
Oh, and many of his books are how to deal with the highly successful Windows 8 Operating System. So successful that retailers offer you Windows 7 if they possibly can and Windows 9 is dashing to the rescue asap.
Just to prove Galen’s iCredentials, here are the titles of his latest works:
The 5 lessons both IT and business should learn from Apple
Too big, too small, or just right? Sizing up the iPhone 6 Plus
Apple Watch: The Internet of things’ new frontier
10 ways Apple really has changed the (tech) world
iOS 8’s hidden revolution goes way beyond the iPad and iPhone
Rotten Apple: Apple’s 11 biggest failures (this one I like! Oh, wait, it’s in praise of Fapple in the end)
Fixes flood in for iOS and Android email — but they aren’t broken (of course they’re not! They’re crap by design)
In other words, Galen likes to deal in software no one really likes.
Still, never mind, there’s so much to learn here from Apple and their amazing watch and their FANTASTIC revolutionaty iOS8 product blah… blah… blah….
Just one thing to learn, Galen.
If you want to play in the iPlayground, that’s your lookout. After all, it would seem that the market for your books is shrinking by the day.
If you want to comment on BlackBerry at least get your facts right.
And if you want to be so vitriolic about it and mis-represent BlackBerry through your own iGnorance?
Expect to end up here.
I hope you enjoy seeing all those people coming #BackToBlack and are utterly baffled by it.
After all, we don’t really deserve you, do we?
Now, where’s our Resident iDiot with his Passport predictions?