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BlackBerry CEO predicts 'no reason to have a tablet' in five years

updated 10:56 am EDT, Tue April 30, 2013

Heins claims big workspace screens will negatively affect tablet sales

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins believes that the future of tablets are on borrowed time, giving the hardware platform five years to live. The comments, made in an interview yesterday, suggest that the company may not make a successor to the BlackBerry PlayBook, a tablet released in 2011 that failed to take off at retail.

Speaking to Bloomberg at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles, Heins claimed "In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore." Heins suggested people may use a "big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model."

The BlackBerry PlayBook had a relatively lackluster launch, with some sales reported but no lines. Later, the company was forced to lower the price of the tablet, though this appeared to have little effect. Sales in the third quarter of 2011 went down to just 200,000 for the entire quarter, with HP shipping more TouchPads in a $100 clearance sale after formally exiting the tablet business. Despite making some minor changes, sales continue to be low for the PlayBook.

In contrast to Heins' prediction, Apple managed to ship 19.5 million iPads in the last quarter, while iDC numbers at the beginning of the year show a large contingent of Android-based tablet manufacturers shipping even higher numbers than before. Figures released last week claims the entire tablet market shipped 40.6 million branded devices in the quarter, a 117-percent year-on-year increase, with Windows 8 tablets managing to capture a 7.5-percent market share.

Heins' tablet commentary came at the same time as the CEO claimed the BlackBerry Q10 would sell "several tens of millions of units" to customers.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Lifeisabeach

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 05-25-10

    Yes Thorsten, your track record for predicting what people want has proven impeccable so far.

    My new rule of thumb? Whatever this guy says, expect the exact opposite. Impeccable!

  1. aviamquepasa

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-22-11

    Well, managers have to be optimistic, but this one is surely too much

  1. MikBe

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 08-29-12

    Talk about reality distortion fields...

  1. Fonejacker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-11-10

    I'm not even sure if Blackberry will be around in 5 months, let alone know what will happen with the tablet market in 5 years time. With him as CEO, I doubt Blackberry have a future, except to be remembered as a tech company who let hubris get the better of them.

  1. mr100percent

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 12-06-99

    Talk about Sour Grapes.

  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    I honestly wouldn't bet on ANYTHING 5 years from now in the tech industry--5 years ago the iPad didn't exist, the iPhone was a brand new product, Android phones looked like BlackBerries, and people actually still bought BlackBerries.

    That said, BlackBerry's track record over the last 5 years has been nothing short of astoundingly bad, so betting against them right now is a pretty good bet. In his defense though,Lifeisabeach, Heinz is the new CEO, so most of the really boneheaded comments of the last few years were by other BlackBerry/RIM executives.

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-13-09

    Hell, there's no reason to own a Playbook now!

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    He is saying this just to cover his failed "Playbook" tablet a-s-s. He is not predicting anything. The same talk coming from an Acer CEO guy not long ago. They all know that no one can crack Apple's tablet market at this point.

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