BlackBerry CEO thinks tablets will be useless in five years

By on April 30, 2013, 11:30 AM

You may want to hold off on buying a tablet according to BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins. That’s because there won’t be a reason to own one in five years, the executive told Bloomberg during a recent interview. It’s a noteworthy prediction considering tablets are expected to outship desktops this year and notebooks next year.

According to recent data from IDC, tablet shipments were up 78.4 percent during 2012, topping out at 128 million units. The firm expects manufacturers to ship 190 million devices worldwide this year. Even through 2017, the researcher believes there will still be growth in the tablet industry.

So what exactly can we gather from Heins’ comments in the meantime? For one, it almost guarantees that we won’t see a successor to the ill-fated BlackBerry PlayBook. The sole tablet from BlackBerry hit the market in 2011 with plenty of potential but the fact that it lacked a number of core apps like e-mail and messaging rendered it useless in the eyes of many. Numerous price cuts didn’t help matters, either.

That’s bad news for some BlackBerry faithful that would love to see the Canadian company try their hand at a proper tablet running BB10. But when the CEO believes it’s a bad business to be in, it’s simply not going to happen.

In the interim, there’s little doubt that heavy hitters like Amazon, Apple, Google and Samsung will continue to dole out tablets to the masses in a variety of shapes and sizes.

User Comments: 19

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Guest said:

This just in. Apple says BlackBerry will be useless in 5 years.

Guest said:

BlackBerry needs to stop bashing on different technologies and innovate as much as they state predictions. Listen to your customers more and build something they want, not just what you can offer them!

MilwaukeeMike said:

Tablets will be useless because the new Blackberry will make the all obsolete!

Seriously though. I don't have a use for a tablet now, but to make a huge sweeping prediction about the technology preferences of hundreds of millions of people seems a little presumptuous to me. Does he really believe this, or does he just want to believe this?

Ranger12 Ranger12 said:

I guess the irony is that five years ago blackberry couldn't see that their own phones would be useless today but suddenly they think that tablets will be useless in 5 years.

Did he actually say why tablets will be useless? I can make a lot of predictions but if they're not predicated on anything then it's just hot air.

Guest said:

I respectfully disagree with him. The reason the PC market is down is because a lot of the general population is switching to tablets and smartphones as their main source of internet browsing, emailing and basic word processing. They don't need a PC to do those things anymore. People are also using tablets as cameras for their still shots and videos and most of all, games.

My work requires us to use an iPAD when we're out seeing our clients, but we still have a laptop for other work related needsl. More and more companies are using tablets and I don't see that changing.

And with smaller tablets being easier and more portable to carry around, I don't see this trend changing anytime soon. So...Blackberry're wrong.

ArthurZ ArthurZ said:

Only an insane person can say this nonsense.

I believe he said that though just for one purpose: to justify not having a tablet as on offering.

And this is in turn because Blackberry simply cannot win the crowded tablet market already.

Basically, right now not having a tablet device is a not huge disadvantage, but if the vendors will start building an all in one products, and this will not be Blackberry then they are doomed.

PS: Samsung already started to build such products.

Again, Blackberry suffers still, from the lack of VISION!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Maybe he's just having a bad day. The tech we know won't be around in it's current state forever but to predict a timeline... Who know's.

Guest said:

"Blackberry CEO thinks tablets will be useless in five years"

--> that blackberry CEO can't see that Blackberry is almost useless at this day, and their blackberry tablet or playbook was useless within a year

This is an utter nonsense like hearing them claim that apple is lack of innovation several days ago, while blackberry is outdated for years until Z10 is coming recently

Fbarnett Fbarnett said:

Blackberry needs to fire this fool, Tablets I believe will get better and better. I think it

might get to the point of why do we need laptops

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So... RIM launches a lackluster Playbook, putting it in the higher price range, with their own untested operating system and complete crap for application availability... The Playbook basically bombs in the marketplace... So, obviously tablets are a fad that will be gone soon. Meanwhile, tablets are outselling every other computing device niche... Maybe if RIM spent more time with their heads out of the sand and watching the real world, they would have kept up, launched their new line earlier, and maintained relevance in the marketplace. Instead, they seem to live in a world of denial, then suddenly have moments of clarity and scramble to catch up to everyone else, all while their once-massive market share continues to erode into potential oblivion.

An actual usable tablet is the holy grail of a huge amount of mobile users out there - give us a tablet that has long battery life, powerful computing power, proper input options to give full utilization potential, and an operating system that properly bridges the touch & pointer/type interfaces, and you could potentially take over the world...

m4a4 m4a4 said:

Heins said ""In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," Heins said in an interview yesterday at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.""

I don't know about you, but what he said seems to be blown out of proportion. It sounds like he is talking about traditional tablets (that are "crappy" when compared to the features available on PC's) and is saying that when a proper mobile PC can fit into a tablet sized case, tablets as we know them now won't be desirable. I personally think 5 years is too soon though.

But if he IS saying that tablet sized computers are going to be on the decline, then he is crazy...

cmbjive said:

Wasn't Blackberry's tablet useless the day after it was released? Blackberry blew it with the Storm (pun intended) and now it is fighting to be relevant. Instead of jawboning what other technologies would do maybe the Blackberry CEO should focus on his own products.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Tablets are already useless. I see more eReaders than I see tablets, and I don't see many eReaders.

JC713 JC713 said:

The tablets we have now will be useless. The real tablet of the future will be a foldable one. If tablets stay as they are, yes they will be useless, but they wont stay as they are.

Guest said:

No wonder RIM keeps banging its head against a wall with such inept leadership...

Guest said:

With cell phones getting projected keyboards, and soon projected images, the need for a tablet will become as obsolete as a laptop made the desktop and the tablet made the laptop.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

With cell phones getting projected keyboards, and soon projected images, the need for a tablet will become as obsolete as a laptop made the desktop and the tablet made the laptop.

While that sentiment is great in theory (and I like where you are going with that idea), in reality there are a huge variety of situations where you do not have proper surfaces for things like projected keyboards or images. And the projection method completely eliminates any semblance of privacy when using your device. There will almost always be some demand for large enough screens to be effective and efficient, it's just a matter of what package it's going to fit into. But, with things like Google Glass and other personal optical displays gaining traction, it may just be a "virtual display" that appears big, but is really tiny. The future is bright with possibilities.

Personally, my view of the future of mobile computing is more of a thick electronics wand that uses an eyeglass interface, with a pull-out flexible screen for when you need high definition or to share your viewscreen with others. Sort of a collapsible tablet, if you will. Hey, a guy can dream!

Guest said:

HORRAY!!!! this poster is right on! Tablets are here to stay...portability , ease of use camera and media apps.

I love my two PlayBooks 16 G and 64 G!! (y)

Guest said:

All the weeKend warriors make me laugh. I like tablets so they must stay? Or I cant see further than the end of my arm? Its happening already. When Apple brings out the Iwatch there will be a horde of followers and then you'll be saying "wow Watchs are here to stay". THEN apple will bring out the Iring .. basically a complete system in a ring . And no nerdface it wont have cooling issues and no, there wont be place to fit a discrete graphics card

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