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No reason for tablets in five years, says Blackberry CEO

Z10 maker's Thorsten Heins says iPad-like devices not a good business model for the future

Tablets are all the rage these days, but it's just a phase, according to Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins. Speaking with The Telegraph, the CEO of the Canadian smartphone company said the familiar devices will become far less common in the near future.

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

That suggests Blackberry won't be pursuing its PlayBook tablet line very aggressively. The original device launched in 2011, and struggled out of the gate. Heins told The Telegraph that the company would only consider a follow-up if it had something different to offer in a market packed with competitors.

"In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing. That's what we're aiming for," Heins said. "I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat."

With the launch of its anticipated Z10 phone, Blackberry is just starting to emerge from a difficult stretch. For the fiscal year ended March 2, it reported a net loss of $646 million, compared to a net profit of $1.16 billion the year before.

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Latest comments (22)

Russ Cogman Senior Game Artist, Serious Games International3 years ago
If this was Apple making these statements I might be inclined to sit up and take notice.
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wow just wow..
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 3 years ago
R.I.P. Blackberry.
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Show all comments (22)
Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 3 years ago
The future is not tablet, it's *mumble mumble*...made by Blackberry!
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Matt Hackett Game Developer, Lost Decade Games3 years ago
In 5 years, sure who knows, maybe people will be over tablets, but RIM's competition will have been making so much damn money off of tablets in that time, RIM will never catch up!
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Jess Kappeler Senior Game Designer, Pipeworks Studio3 years ago
I'm not sure how a "Big screen in my workplace" will replace my tablet...I use the tablet most while i'm on the couch or sitting in bed.
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Adam Campbell Producer, Hopster3 years ago
Not to be mean but this is coming from a company where their attempt at the tablet market flopped. Had the Blackberry Playbook been a big success, it would be a very unusual statement... go figure :)

I disagree because Tablets bring a whole new level of practicality - above phones, above phablets and above laptops when it comes to their main reasons for existence. I've had all form factors so I'm speaking from personal experience and what I expect to be still using in the future - I can imagine many will be the same.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Campbell on 30th April 2013 7:34pm

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Steve Peterson Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
Nobody knows the market like Blackberry! Or is that, "Nobody knows the market AT Blackberry?"
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Sean Kauppinen Founder & CEO, IDEA3 years ago
Is this an article from The Onion? Just Wow.
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Richard Morwood Studying Bach. of Computer Science, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology3 years ago
Big screen in the work space to replace my tablet... how would i use that on the train home? Or on the couch? Or in bed? How would my mum read books with very large font on the plane with a giant screen at the office? what would she even be doing with a giant screen at her Dentistry? why would a bakery front staffer be using a giant screen?
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William D. Volk CCO, PlayScreen3 years ago
This ranks with Michael Dell's quote about Apple as one of the worst tech predictions of all time.

In honor of this, we have launched a special puzzle in Crickler, our iOS crossword game.

The Worst Tech Predictions EVER!

See: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/crickler-2-daily-word-puzzle/id427784181?mt=8
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 3 years ago
"In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing. That's what we're aiming for," Heins said. "I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat."
And there's the plot for Looper 2 for you. Blackberry sends an agent back through time to kill off Apple and other company heads that make products that outsell their tech, thus taking over the marketplace for all time thereafter.

The End.
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Tim Ogul Illustrator 3 years ago
He might be right, but only if they come out with some kind of direct mind-machine interface by then. There are a few technologies that would make tablets functionally better than the ones we've got (like rollable screens, for example), but Blackberry tech isn't even remotely in the present, much less the future.
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Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve3 years ago
You heard the man, Apple. Better start winding down the iPad product line.
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Ian Brown IT Developer / IT Infrastructure 3 years ago
No reason for tablets in five years, says Blackberry CEO
Think its supposed to be -

No reason for tablets in five years, hopes Blackberry CEO
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 3 years ago
No reason for tablets in five years, says Blackberry CEO
I agree. Tablets are just a fad, like reality tv. They are only going to be around for another.....um, 20 years or so.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 3 years ago
There are several possibilities for this:
1) He is trying to misdirect the competition.
2) He thinks that it is April 1st.
3) He is trying to become popular in England by displaying strong irony.
4) Too much beer/whisky/vodka/gin/brandy.
5) He has never actually used a tablet.
6) His marketing department have deliberately mi- briefed him as part of a mutiny.
7) He forgot to pack the lithium.
8) He thinks that the time has come to start using his pension pot.
9) He really meant "consoles" but got confused or was misquoted.
10) He has a big pile of Blackberry sell options.
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Personally what I think the future will look like in 10 years time (sit up and pay attention if you work for any of those companies involved :-) ) is a virtual device that can be accessed from ANY screen / user interface device.

i.e Imagine being able to access your "desktop" from the table In you're living room as a touch screen, or the TV or the PC in the study, your phone, your tablet, the screen in your car, your fridge etc. Off course that desktop would need to adapt to the device that it's currently displayed on however they wouldn't be separate devices.

The actual device will become irrelevant which is maybe what he's trying to say without actually saying it.
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David Serrano Freelancer 3 years ago
Talk about trying to control the narrative...
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David Serrano Freelancer 3 years ago
@John Owens

Then pay very close attention to companies currently working on flexible LED screen tech. If the image quality continues to increase and the manufacturing costs continues to decrease, 10 years from now we could have touch sensitive LED screens embedded into everything we own.
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@David - I'm very aware of some of that stuff and yea I was going to add your arm band in my list however it didn't seem to read too well unless I explained it more.

Personally I think you'll be able to do things such as switch apps (although I don't think there's actually going to be distinct apps as such) to different arms or pieces of clothing in much the same way as you can use multiple monitors for PCs.

The actual device won't be important which is why I think Microsoft is spending the time now to prototype and get to market early an OS that is device agnostic with their Windows 8 so when everything moves that way they're in the best position to then virtualize it.

With what Nokia are doing in the hardware space and Microsoft in the software they could yet still make a formidable team.

But who knows, there's a long way to go and it's not always and often not the first to market that becomes the dominant one.

What's the Blackberry tag line now "It's all about the Flow" or something like that.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by John Owens on 2nd May 2013 7:09pm

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Adam Yau Game Programmer 3 years ago
R.I.P.
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