BlackBerry CEO Says Tablets Will Be Obsolete in Five Years

Not long after the iPad was released, in April of 2010, word got out that RIM was planning on its own entrant into the tablet market. The company officially unveiled the PlayBook as a companion device in October of that same year and the device launched the following year, in April of 2011. Despite the PlayBook's tepid reception, RIM went on to offer further models with upgraded capacities, 3G, and eventually LTE. In February, Thorsten Heins said the company was exploring the idea of another tablet provided it was profitable. However, it seems those explorations have come to an end.

Speaking to Bloomberg, CEO Heins expressed a rather negative opinion of tablets in general. Apparently, Thorsten reckons the tablet is not a good business model.

"In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," Heins is quoted as saying. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model."

Though Thorsten said in January that BlackBerry wasn't getting out of the tablet market, he seems to have made a decision. You just have to wonder what the rest of the industry has to say about his thought that tablets won't be worth having by 2018. Five years is a long time in the tech industry, which is notorious for its rapid progression and refresh cycles, but can a whole form factor really die off by then?

  • Stimpack
    Well, I guess he would know, Blackberry was obsolete 5 years ago.
  • Avus
    And this is from a company that sucks at tablet...
  • nukemaster
    At the rate smart phones are getting bigger, maybe tablet will become phone.
  • He may be right, but I don't see touch screen devices going away any time soon. The newest Windows 8 devices all seem to be a combination of a laptop with a full keyboard and a tablet.
    Also, he may be wrong: it isn't like Blackberry is very good at predicting what consumers want. Plus, Apple and their customers don't seem to think that the tablet is simply going to disappear in 5 years.
  • wavetrex
    I regret buying mine. Want my 350$ back...
    Useless expensive TOY.
    Can't really do anything productive by touch, too slow to be a gaming platform, the screen is too small (yeah, 10" is small!) for relaxed internet navigation or movie watching.
    I happen to agree with this guy, tablets will eventually die, maybe not in 5 years but they will. StarTrek is wrong, tablets are not the answer.
    Something like the Occulus Rift for gaming/movies or Google Glass (voice commands) for internet, that might be interesting !
  • glitch20
    Well, I guess he would know, Blackberry was obsolete 5 years ago.
    Lol your view is only on the consumer market Blackberry dominated the Enterprise market only now they are getting competetion with android & apple only now they are getting a piece of the Enterprise market pie
  • yannigr
    Laptops and tablets are going to become one. Convertibles, hybrids, call them whatever you want. Now if he means that, OK, nothing new here. He is not predicting the future, he is just describing what you can already see today. If he thinks that tablets are going to vanish like netbooks, then he is wrong. Totally.
  • bisso
    You regret buying yours because you failed to understand what tablets are for.
    Not a single company, but maybe Apple, ever stated that a tablet is a good product for anything productive. It is not a gaming platform either. Yes mobile games are popular, but they don't make tablets for that purpose in mind.
    Tablets are one of the best way to consume media of all type. Ebooks, newspapers, emails, movies, videos. It's nothing vital, but it's a great buy when you want to bring everything you normal do at the same place. For someone like me that read books and newspapers every mornings and afternoons in the metro or train while going to work, this is a blessing.
    If 10 inche is too small for you, while this is totaly subjective and I respect that you might not like it, it's more than enough for most of people, I personally have a Nexus7, and it's just the perfect size for me. I suspect you are the type of guy to have a 60'' TV in his 6 feet long living room ;).
    For gaming, I hardly see how the Occulus Rift would ever replace the tablet?! Most people play mobile games when they aren't home. Do you plan on bringing a VR headset in the bus? In a waiting room? Must be very conveniant to put the set on and lose contact with the whole world when you are in a public place. Google Glass is good, but hardly fills anything from the tablet. You can't consume media on glasses, at least, not as efficiently.
  • nuvon
    I totally disagree with him. I think tablet will become more powerful and versatile.
  • digiex
    I hope Blackberry live to see that day.