The Return Of The Trolls

Things were getting too easy around the virtual offices of UTB. There’s been so much good news for BlackBerry lately. The Passport has been a raging success story, and the Classic might just be beating it. Most trolls had shrunk back to their orange caverns, and some were even disappearing from there! Cartoon handed smartwatch wearing trolls had gone forgotten. Past fans who had chose to promote iPhone and Android had started acting like BlackBerry fans again. And those damaging media trolls had started being BlackBerry positive in their reviews. But things must be getting boring for them, because a few have started taking jabs again.

Just a few days ago our own Trev wrote about a troll named Adam Doud. Today I’m writing about Galen Gruman. Besides having a name that sounds like he should be a secondary character in a 1960’s comic book, Galen is an Executive Editor at That’s a nice title. We should make up titles like that here at UTB. Adding that to my Remember app.

According to the bio at the end of his post (another thing to add to my Remember app) Galen has “written or co-written more than 40 how-to books on iOS, iPad, Windows 8, OS X, and desktop publishing. I’d say it’s safe to say that Galen is an iDiot. Although the Windows 8 throws a bit of credibility his way, his post on the BlackBerry Classic quickly takes that away.


Luckily Galen gives us an early clue as to what his intentions will be. We’re used to seeing trolls use the tactic of using a photo of the oldest BlackBerry they can find when writing about BlackBerry. But Galen takes that even a step further. He uses a picture of an old Curve that looks like it spent the afternoon with Lucas!

The BlackBerry Classic is supposed to be the smartphone that saves the foundering mobile company.

Right from the first sentence, Galen has it wrong. There will not be a single phone that is meant to save the company. BlackBerry is no longer just a phone company. In fact, they’ve made it very clear time and time again, that they are not looking at devices to be their main source of income. They merely want the device division to make money, to pay for itself. As Galen is used to the Apple orchard, where iPhone is their main business, he cant seem to understand that having your company depending on one product just isn’t that bright in the long run.

BlackBerry has been previewing and promoting the Classic for months, started taking pre-orders in mid-November, and even handed out review units to selected members of the press. But you can’t actually buy one in the United States despite the promised December release date. Here we are in February, and the BlackBerry Classic remains a no-show.

BlackBerry is famous for misjudging its release schedules, with most products shipping well after their promised dates. This could be more of the same. In fact, a spokeswoman told me this week that AT&T availability for the Classic is “soon” and Verizon availability will be by July (“in the first half”).

Oh Galen! You’ve just touched on the frustration of every US BlackBerry users. Unfortunately, you’ve got it all wrong. You see, the problem here is not BlackBerry, it’s the carriers. This is not a case of BlackBerry missing a deadline, these phones are readily available all over the world. But here in the States, where our carriers are tied in to ridiculous purchase agreements with Apple, our carriers are holding back the devices.

Galen goes on to use the exit of Alec Saunders, Chen’s letter for app neutrality, and the Samsung buyout rumors to state that the “turnaround is going nowhere”. Unfortunately for Galen, he fails miserably. Galen seems to think that no one has been paying attention to BlackBerry. He’s wrong.

The reviewers who received prerelease BlackBerry Classic units have not really liked it

Now Galen produces links to the reviews at The Verge and CIO. I’m truly amazed he didn’t bring up Joanna Stern while he was at it. What he failed to mention is the multitude of great reviews for both the Classic and the Passport, many by reviewers who were previously negative on BlackBerry. He also seems to have forgotten when it comes to user reviews, the Passport has thoroughly trounced the bendy iPhone 6.

With its smartphones going nowhere and its QNX division’s Internet-of-things potential both limited and long-term, BlackBerry has one other area it can leverage: device security. Its mobile device management (MDM) server handles iOS and Android, not only BlackBerry units; theoretically, it could become the dominant MDM platform.

Even that won’t be easy: Enterprises that care about mobile management have already invested huge sums in MDM servers from the likes of Citrix Systems, Good Technology, MobileIron, and VMware, which manage everything but BlackBerrys. It’s hard to see those companies moving their iOS, Android, and Windows Phone users to BES. But it’s easy to see those companies shutting down BES when the BlackBerry pool gets too small to maintain.

And with this, Galen shows his ignorance of the subject matter. I’m quite surprised he even knows the names of Good, MobileIron and VMware, since he quite obviously knows nothing of the business. Theoretically could become the dominant MDM platform? It is the dominant MDM platform! Oh Galen, you simple simple man! Who have you been listening to??

Moving on to the comments, there was a very nice rebuttal to this post, from our friend Burk no less! And while Galen isn’t really someone who’s words I wish to pass on, I’ll post Burk’s in entirety. (Hope you don’t mind Burk!)

Here we go again. I definitely agree that when it comes to BlackBerry launching devices in the States,  it is beyond frustrating.  So, somehow you think it’s BlackBerry fault. Seriously? Why is it that BlackBerry can launch on time everywhere else in the world, but never the States?  Come on, you should being investigating instead of assuming. Also, you’re basing all the Classic reviews on three sites that would never give BlackBerry a fair review unless you slapped an iPhone logo on the device.. So, let’s look at what others around the globe shall we…….

1. PhoneDog’s Cam Bunton calls the Classic “the best BlackBerry in years.” He writes, “It’s giving BlackBerry fans everything they want in an up-to-date and relatively affordable package . . . Overall, the hardware looks and feels high-end . . . [The display is] bright and has great viewing angles . . . For emails, messaging, web browsing and calendar management [the square screen is] fantastic . . . [The] browser speed is very quick . . . Thanks to BlackBerry 10’s intuitive gesture-based system, moving around the phone is as slick and easy as ever . . . The Classic easily got me through a full day on a 100% charge, with some juice left over normally after light to moderate use . . . Overall then, the BlackBerry Classic is everything that BlackBerry users need it to be. It’s acurrent, up-to-date phone with great build quality and an almost perfect physical keyboard and control system.”
2. Technology Personalized’s Nimish Dubey writes, “The Classic [is about] the whole‘real typing’ and productivity experience . . . The first thing that will strike you about the device [is] the classic BlackBerry key layout . . . The finish [won’t] pick up any stains or scratches and well, has a shine that will turn heads. Talking of head turners, the shining BB logo in steel in the center on the back will do so as well . . . The Classic looks as if the ground would have more to fear from contact with it than the device would . . . BlackBerry has returned to its roots.”
3. “[The] purpose of the Classic is to bring back the highly sought after QWERTY keyboard in a design that was well-loved by its users, leveraging a modern operating system, which now even has support for Android applications,”writes IndiaToday’s Sahil Mohan Gupta. “In the week we tested the device, it showed impressive battery life . . . The BlackBerry Classic offers sound qualityduring calls. It maintained strong signals in areas where the iPhone 6 failed . . . [The Classic] is meant for people who need to get work done, especially if the work involves sending a lot of emails or typing a lot on the phone. It’s great at getting work done. Actually, it is one of the best phones in the market for that kind of thing.”
4. BlackBerry has gone back to basics with its Classic, an update of the Bold that’sthe best physical keyboard yet,” writes The Guardian’s (UK) Samuel Gibbs. “If a phone for emailing with a physical keyboard is the dream, this just might be it . . . The BlackBerry feels solidly built [and] designed to last . . . The keyboard is the real star of the show. It is arguably the best physical keyboard available, complete with shift, symbol and alternate keys, which makes entering text, numbers and punctuation easy . . . The BlackBerry Hub collects all messaging notifications into one place and works better than any other ‘unified inbox’ on any other platform. The BlackBerry is still the best machine for sending simple text to other people . . . The Classic achieves what it sets out to do and is a worthy upgrade for users of a Bold or other older BlackBerry.”
5. The Classic reminds us that BlackBerry is still around and ready to build on its core strengths,” writes the Calgary Herald’s Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla. “With the Classic, it can hold on to its most loyal fans and get them on a more modern smartphone platform . . . If you like physical keyboards, the BlackBerry Classic is a pleasure to use. The QWERTY keyboard is the most responsive and intuitive one BlackBerry’s made . . . The BlackBerry Classic is a whiz at managing e-mails, and even editing documents thanks to the keyboard and touch screen combination. BlackBerry Blend, a companion app that can route messages, BBMs and emails to a connected tablet, PC or Mac, also makes the Classic ideal for businesses.”
Should I go on? I have five more, but I think you get the point

Great job Burk! I wish I would have seen your comment before I started writing this post, it would have saved me some time. By the way, if you’re not subscribed to Burk’s channel, BB Powered (C001C1D66), you should do that now.




BlackBerry Elite Founder & Owner of UTB Blogs and UTB Geek. When I'm not talking or writing about BlackBerry, you'll find me using my BlackBerry.

  • nnik

    Galen is an iDiot isn’t he? Maybe he doesn’t have a lot of resources in mom’s basement, maybe he closely monitored as to what websites he visits by his Apple obsessed mommy.

  • Anthony

    Galen Gruman truly is an iDiot. He’s a lazy ignorant editor. I get the impression the “40 books he wrote or co-wrote” also aren’t any good.

    Anyone with some knowledge about BlackBerry knows the Classic is a device for users wanting the the “tool belt” and full qwerty keyboard.

    Jobs had iSheep. Tim Cook has iZombies. locco_smiley_8


    I don’t know this ‘Galen’ person and will not attack him personally as that only weakens the argument. However it is clear that he is writing to his flock and nobody else. It is an interesting condition of apple people, that they need to be constantly told that they are right ( better) than anyone else; that their ‘tribe’ is special and elite. Galen is only supplying the lies to support his ‘tribe’.

    Movie reviewers achieve the same ends by different means. They will attack a popular movie with half truths, lies and misrepresentations. They will clutter their reviews with obscure cultural references and irrelevant banalities. The do this to appear to be knowledgeable, well educated, purveyors of a unique viewpoint. In short to stand out from the pack and to convince their readers that they too are informed, special members of the reviewer’s tribe.

    But the reality is that it is all bluster and bravado just to gain attention.

  • ray689

    Does anyone actually listen to these morons? The fact that it took him 40 tries to explain how app launcher OS works tell you enough about him.

  • web99

    Excellent post, Brad. These iTrolls definitely need to be called out, especially when they write bogus articles for which they don’t know anything about.