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RIM CEO Thorsten Heins   (Source:
Thorsten Heins thinks that tablets are a dead end

When it comes to forward-looking progress in the mobile sector, most people aren't looking to companies like BlackBerry for direction. Instead, most people look towards Google, Apple, Amazon, and to a lesser extent these days, Microsoft.
However, BlackBerry, which is soon set to launch its "old school" QWERTY-equipped Q10 smartphone, has gone against the grain and given a dire prediction for the future of tablets.
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” said BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins while being interviewed at the Milken Institute conference. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

Companies like Apple would definitely disagree with the last statement; iPad sales have been growing ever since its introduction in 2010. In addition, the iPad (along with the iPhone) are bringing in the majority of the profits for Apple while its iPod and Mac product lines have played a back seat role.
Amazon is also using its relatively low-cost tablets to lure customers to its digital media and streaming product offerings. The online retail giant makes little to no money on the sale of the actual Kindle Fire hardware, but counts on a steady stream of revenue from customers that purchase eBooks, TV shows, and movies.
Microsoft is also betting big on tablets as witnessed by its Surface and Surface Pro tablets (although Microsoft is finding out that breaking into an Apple/Google-dominated market is tough work).
It's pretty easy to see why Heins is pessimistic about tablets due to the abject failure of its 7" PlayBook, but to decry the failure of the entire tablet market seems a bit premature.
So does Thorstein Heins have a magic 8-ball that is accurately predicting the future, or do you think that he is downplaying the importance of the tablet form-factor until BlackBerry can launch a credible entry? 

Source: Bloomberg

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By txDrum on 4/30/2013 1:06:46 PM , Rating: 5
It seems like he's talking about business. I don't see tablets replacing the raw productivity of workstations etc. in 5 years. Nobody is ever going to sacrifice the raw power of a workstation for portability.

The consumer side? Not gonna happen. Tablets are here to stay for sure, although we'll probably see notebook hybrids as well.

RE: Business...
By Obujuwami on 4/30/2013 1:52:40 PM , Rating: 2
Interestingly enough, we have a few surface pros floating around my job and people use them for presentations and generally like them. They are easy to support and customizing the images for it is rather easy. So I see businesses using those as tools for the next 2-10 years...once they catch on...

Other than that, I think his idea is poorly thought out. I think what we will need in the future is inter-connective systems that are accessible via any device you have around. A giant screen isn't going to allow you to type a document or work with a spread sheet easier, but it will give you a huge space to do thinks like look at a dashboard with things you need to know or can control (like your thermostat) or set. Obviously I am thinking a bit grandiose my self, but I would love to see a smart house that is controlled by a small desktop that you can manipulate with any device, regardless of the OS. I would also love to see these smart house systems installed in houses for a reasonable cost...but we can only dream...

RE: Business...
By FITCamaro on 4/30/2013 1:55:41 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but its not really a traditional tablet.

But yeah I totally see devices like the Surface Pro becoming more common as Intel and AMD get more power efficient architectures released.

ARM is plenty capable of meeting most consumers demand for content. More powerful architectures though are needed for the foreseeable future to do actual work.

RE: Business...
By BSMonitor on 4/30/2013 2:40:54 PM , Rating: 2
Long term, a tablet with workstation horsepower that "docks" to the workstation at one's desk.

RE: Business...
By Labotomizer on 4/30/2013 2:59:01 PM , Rating: 5
And this is exactly why Windows 8 was the right direction to move in for MS. Perhaps the execution could have been better. But if you think of computing as moving in this direction, which I wholeheartedly agree with, then a single OS with adaptable user interfaces based on the mode of operation is the best way to do it. On my Surface Pro I spend most of my time in the desktop when using the Type Cover and Bluetooth mouse. When I'm using it as a tablet I spend most of my time in the Metro UI, with the exception of Outlook. It's really the perfect device for me. I can do 100% of my work on it and 100% of my media consumption. There isn't another device out there even in the same class in my opinion.

RE: Business...
By hubb1e on 4/30/13, Rating: 0
RE: Business...
By kyuuketsuki on 5/1/2013 11:17:05 AM , Rating: 4
"I agree 100% and the failure of Mircosoft was to force everyone into the tablet UI all the time."

Except you're not forced into Modern UI all the time in Windows 8. I see it once when I boot, and occasionally when I do a search, but 99% of the time I'm on the classic desktop.

RE: Business...
By Mint on 5/1/2013 11:57:55 AM , Rating: 3
So, if you define the tablet as today's tablet, a slow CPU on a stipped down OS, lacking a keyboard then I think the CEO was right as I think tablets will evolve into real devices with detachable keyboards, full featured OS's, and adequate performance. So in essence, the tablet is dead, long live the tablet.
That's how I see it, too. ARM tablets are going to disappear as long as Intel prices Clovertrail+ and Silvermont SOCs reasonably and MS doesn't charge too much for Win8. People will pay a small premium for wintel, as witnessed by Linux netbooks not getting anywhere.

Today's tablets are really starting to feel the squeeze between small notebooks and large smartphones. It's not as pocketable as the latter or as functional as the former, so how long can they remain useful?

RE: Business...
By Jeffk464 on 5/1/2013 12:25:38 PM , Rating: 1
I really don't think ARM based devices are going to be going away. The popularity and android and iOS will continue, it seems to me that MS is the company that is becoming less relevant.

RE: Business...
By othercents on 4/30/2013 2:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
The consumer side? Not gonna happen. Tablets are here to stay for sure, although we'll probably see notebook hybrids as well.

It could happen, but only with something that replaces them with something similar. Take the latest Android phones and connect them to a phablet interface similar to what ASUS is doing. Now you have eliminated another device and just added an interface. Remove the phablet and go to VR glasses.

I think there are possibilities to create faster processors for the raw power in a smaller size and newer interfaces, but we are only going to replace one type of device for another unless we are willing for the computer to directly interface into our brains. Yes they do that already too.

RE: Business...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 4/30/2013 3:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
Since many schools are not forcing the parents to buy these devices, and they make (very expensive) toys for Christmas presents, I believe the current sales are indeed inflated. When the prices become reasonable and usability improves, it is clear that most people will have them, but the days of the must-have-it-at-all-costs will be nearing and end.

After owning one for a few weeks (iPad), I still wouldn't buy one unless I was forced to. There are just not enough times I personally need mobile computing.

The one feature, strangely, that seems to be missing that would be compelling is GPS. For the price I paid, I'm amazed it was not included. That, and an Ethernet port. Apple always just seems to do things 'there way'. Guess it's good for the rest of you.

RE: Business...
By HoosierEngineer5 on 4/30/2013 3:05:11 PM , Rating: 2
...meant NOW forcing.

RE: Business...
By bodar on 4/30/2013 10:44:14 PM , Rating: 1
You can't put an ethernet port in a tablet that thin. An RJ45 port is roughly twice as tall as most tablets are thick. If you really (really?) need wired connectivity, there's an adapter:

RE: Business...
By bodar on 4/30/2013 10:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
Oh fail, that's for Macbook Air. I could've sworn there's an adapter for Lightning port though...

RE: Business...
By Decom on 5/1/2013 9:08:50 AM , Rating: 2
Totally not true.

See this one, I know it's not an iPad/Galaxy tab but to say you can't do it is just a flat out lie :-

Ok, so it's Resistive and probaly a POS, but it can be done.

RE: Business...
By Mint on 5/1/2013 12:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
It's pretty thick where the RJ45 is, so I wouldn't say he's wrong.

RE: Business...
By bodar on 5/1/2013 7:47:44 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, "can't" be done, was hyperbole, but it's a design compromise. You do need to make that part fatter to include an RJ45 port. And for what? Where is this great clamoring for tablets that you can connect to an ethernet port that tablet makers would need to redesign their chassis for? Wi-Fi is pretty ubiquitous now and the whole point of a tablet is to be unplugged. It just doesn't makes sense.

RE: Business...
By jimbojimbo on 5/1/2013 3:57:36 PM , Rating: 2
That, and an Ethernet port
Yes, I want an ethernet cable plugged into my mobile device. Dual band Wifi-n is capable of streaming 720p content just fine so what exactly do you need that ethernet cable for?

RE: Business...
By Hieyeck on 5/1/2013 8:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
Power isn't going to be the issue for businesses. 90% of your average office doesn't do much more than web + Office. A lot of people are already transitioning to ultraportables, if only because losing the physical keyboard means losing screen space as well on a tablet.

I can see stuff like the Asus Taichi taking off. Give it a docking station for a large monitor and offices don't need PCs.

RE: Business...
By Jeffk464 on 5/1/2013 12:16:32 PM , Rating: 2
There has been talk of making smart phones capable of controlling any enabled monitor. So you could use your phone to stream to your home theater. You could have a desktop that is solely bluetooth keyboard, mouse and monitor. I think there might be something to the idea that your only computing device will be your phone. But then again the android stick concept is getting so cheap it seems like you might as well have computing in every device. Don't know so long as they all work seamlessly together through cloud computing I guess it doesn't matter.

RE: Business...
By bsd228 on 5/1/13, Rating: 0
Microsoft is silly
By BRB29 on 4/30/2013 2:02:40 PM , Rating: 4
"Microsoft is also betting big on tablets as witnessed by its Surface and Surface Pro tablets (although Microsoft is finding out that breaking into an Apple/Google-dominated market is tough work)."

I don't get it. The little bit of extra portability does not justify the loss in functionality. The ultrabook is a little bigger in size but it makes up for bigger screen and better keyboard. Battery and price seems to be in the same range. I can plug my laptop into my dock when I'm at work and pull it when I travel. You have more ports in a laptop also.
Tablet is and has always been a consumer product. It can exist in the corporate world in limited scenarios.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Labotomizer on 4/30/2013 3:05:44 PM , Rating: 3
I had an Ultrabook. The Surface Pro is far better. It's faster than my UB was, far better screen and more versatility. And I have a USB3.0 dock for it when I'm at the office, connected to a 24" monitor. It's fantastic. I really can't stress to you what an amazing device it is. And you wouldn't believe me, rightfully so I think, unless you were to use one for a week. I've had mine for two and it's awesome. Best electronic purchase I've made in years.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By BRB29 on 4/30/2013 4:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
What kind of ultrabook do you have? There are a lot of ultrabooks that are straight crap.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Labotomizer on 4/30/2013 6:59:09 PM , Rating: 3
I originally had a Folio 13, provided by work. Not a bad device. Also tried the Spectre XT Pro. We're an HP shop for our workstations and laptops. Also a good unit. The Surface Pro outperforms both despite having very similar specs. I really think the SSD in the Surface Pro is quite a bit better quality and faster. Those two also had 720p screens at 13" whereas this has a 1080p screen at 10.6". So substantially better quality there. It's also brighter.

I'm not saying it is better than all Ultrabooks. But I'm saying it's better than the two I've used, which both cost the same. I do think the Samsung units that are out there are probably stronger, but even those are 1600x900 screens, so still lower quality screens.

Two other engineers have purchased Surface Pros since I bought mine they were so impressed. For someone working in a closet on a Nexus 7000 switch it's unbeatable. Is it good for virtualization? No, but neither were the Ultrabooks. We did place an order today for the Elitebook Folios with 8GB of memory and Core i7s. But those are $1700. Pretty big difference.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Belard on 4/30/13, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft is silly
By Labotomizer on 4/30/2013 7:00:44 PM , Rating: 3
Funny how this post reads like a typical conspiracy theorist troll. I suppose the government was behind 9/11 too, right?

Also, if you can point me in a direction where I can get paid for stating my opinion on forums I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Pirks on 4/30/2013 7:28:48 PM , Rating: 2
Belard is just a moron who regularly posts funny and stupid lies about Windows 8 etc, he would say there were no reviews of Windows 8 and so on. He's either mentally ill or more likely he's just an astroturfer in Google or Apple payroll. Or maybe even both.

I got Surface Pro too, must admit overall it's much much better device than RT, but until there's Haswell with more slim, thin and light chassis and much longer battery life - appeal of Surface Pros will be limited.

The real killa device oughtta be the new Surface they may produce with Bay Trail, this one should marry benefits of frugal ARM chips in iPad with Windows universality and number one software ecosystem.

Can't wait for Belard to post some more lunacy about that new upcoming Bay Trail based Surface. I'm sure his anal master Sergey Brin (or Cook? Is Timmy having you Belard huh? share your hot experiences with us man! :P) is writing him check right now as I'm typing this :)))

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Labotomizer on 4/30/2013 10:01:34 PM , Rating: 2
I was tempted to wait for the second gen Surface tablets because of Haswell. But my wife got me this one for our anniversary. Well, said I could get it. I absolutely love it. I get it's not a device for everyone.

Battery life isn't that important to me. Functionality is. I keep an extra charger at my desk and one that stays in my bag. I just think more people would like it if they gave it a chance. The price is higher than an iPad but it is the first true convergence device that is a good fit for what I need. And for a lot of people. And considering it can replace my iPad (yes I have one) and my Ultrabook it's a fantastic device for me.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Mint on 5/1/2013 12:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
Haswell and Bay Trail will complete MS's vision.

They're looking at the long term, and I think they've made very close to optimal decisions. They could have handled the transition a little smoother with the start page, and their smartphone presence should have arrived sooner, but these are small potatoes in the long run.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Belard on 5/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: Microsoft is silly
By Pirks on 4/30/2013 7:03:26 PM , Rating: 1
Says brain dead idiot who's been lying here about the lack of solid reviews of Windows 8. You better crawl back into your stinky cave, lying troll.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Jeffk464 on 5/1/2013 12:17:53 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 8 is fine, you just have to return the start menu and not use metro apps if you don't like them.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Belard on 5/1/2013 4:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
so... the only "features" that separates win 8 from win should be ripped out... which means.... why the hell bother with an ugly version of windows?

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Jeffk464 on 5/1/2013 4:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
I find the start screen faster to use than the start menu, its just missing things like reboot, shutdown, etc.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Jeffk464 on 5/1/2013 4:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
There should also be a default desktop mode for pc's.

RE: Microsoft is silly
By Belard on 5/1/2013 4:26:35 PM , Rating: 2
oh parks... you are amusing as always.
I was wrong on toms hardware. as proven, anandtech did no such review. and in all reviews... they are ho-hum.

the market data shows that win is a failure. but sure... some people will like it. same as some people like shister videos, doesn't mean we all do.

unbelievably bad leadership
By zephyrprime on 4/30/2013 12:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
Who can have any confidence in this company when the ceo shows a total lack of understanding or vision? I hope he is just lying in order to make his position seem stronger than it is by bluffing.

RE: unbelievably bad leadership
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 1:07:35 PM , Rating: 2
LOL... He should have just said the truth "No-one wanted our $200 tablet for $500, and we are far too slow to act and release products as evidenced by our 3 year effort from an already good OS (QNX) to a shipping phone, therefore the tablet market isn't a worthwhile effort. becasue by the time we release another one, it will have been 2 years past its prime"

RE: unbelievably bad leadership
By Nortel on 4/30/2013 1:49:31 PM , Rating: 3
I think he mispoke. What he meant to say was "The BlackBerry Tablet Will Die Within 5 Years"

RE: unbelievably bad leadership
By cokbun on 5/1/2013 12:23:05 AM , Rating: 3
more like 5 months.

In 5 years...
By lagomorpha on 4/30/2013 12:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
we'll all have Google Glass surgically grafted into our skulls, children will be grown in batches of 40 identical clones, and the concept of privacy will seem quaint.

RE: In 5 years...
By DiscoWade on 4/30/2013 2:09:41 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I rather have the eyePhone.

RE: In 5 years...
By Lord 666 on 4/30/2013 2:23:11 PM , Rating: 2
Would like the clones of my kids thing. The thought of losing one of them ranks in my top three of what keeps me up.

RE: In 5 years...
By Reclaimer77 on 4/30/2013 6:42:44 PM , Rating: 3
Now that is scary as hell.

The thought of you actually HAVING children ranks in my top three of what will keep me up.

I personally agree
By CaedenV on 4/30/2013 1:56:45 PM , Rating: 2
When I was looking at moving up to updating my devices I looked at a lot of stuff, and finally decided to stick with a desktop + smartphone and nothing else. So my wife and I each have a PC, and we each have a smartphone, and that is it.
The PCs have outputs to the TV and stereo, so there is no more cable box, CD/DVD/VHS/Blueray player, consoles, etc. You just control the content on the TV via the smartphone by using PC remote. It works great for movies, games, and web browsing on the couch without the need to change channels, or discs, or cables, etc. The only down side is breaking out a proper controller or keys+mouse when playing a game. My PC also acts as the home server now that it has a decent RAID controller, so that is one less PC to manage as well.
Similarly, all of our portable devices have been replaced by phones. No more GPS, ereaders, mp3/CD players, laptops, netbooks, camera, video camera, etc. Along with that means no more batteries, proprietary cables, adapters, wall warts, etc. Just phone chargers and normal USB adapters for the phones. Selling the stuff our phones replaced more than paid for the phones as well as their future replacements. We just kept one netbook 'just in case' we need a real portable computer some point down the road.

Then you look to the present-future. Smart home technology is beginning to get somewhere. HVAC, security, and lighting systems are already coming out with very minimalistic interfaces (or no interface other than a power switch), and you are entirely meant to interact with them via the PC or a phone app.
In the near future (~5 years?) tablets and laptops will become dumb terminals for phones. All of the user content, apps, and GUI will be provided by the user's phone and/or a cloud service (local or web). The tablet or laptop will simply provide the phone a larger screen, possibly keys and mice, and eventually added processing power.
In the more distant future (10-20 years?) this will translate over to the desktop as well. You will have a local cloud/server with your bulk content, and your PC/TV simply becomes a screen with a GPU and USB ports to allow for other HIDs to plug into. The phone provides the OS, credentials, programs, etc. The PC/TV/station merely provides a more productive interface, and a bit of extra processing power. That is some time off yet, but thinking of my kiddos, there is no reason I can think of as to why they would need a PC in the way that we think of them today. They will have a 'work station' as an interface, but the processing and data storage will be distributed between a phone like device and servers, and that is odd to think about.

As for Blackberry being the one stating this, it seems a little odd. Blackberry is a phone OS (actually it is more of a skin over a phone OS). But smartphones of the future do not run 'phone OSs' they run real OSs with a phone GUI. Windows phone (after WP7) runs on Windows. Ubuntu phone runs Ubuntu. Future Android phones will run Chrome. iPhones will probably never run OSX (OSX is bloatware at this point), but OSX and iOS will some day be forced to merge if they are going to share resources between PCs, phones, and servers. Unless blackberry somehow hangs on the coat tales of Google and transitions over to ChromeOS then they have to future. It is no an issue of form factor and tablets just 'going away' somehow, they are just going to become extensions of the phone. The issue is the capabilities that the underlying OS provide in supporting hardware, and being able to distribute resources across hardware. MS, Google, Apple, and Canonical all have potential avenues to do this with their OSs with partnerships with Intel and Nvidia who are working on these issues. Blackberry is just a fancy skinning company for Google based products... I wonder how good of a business plan that is going to turn out to be.

RE: I personally agree
By zephyrprime on 4/30/2013 5:23:13 PM , Rating: 2
Why would anything be an extension of a phone when it could just as well be a phone? Having just one extra link like you propose is a pain for simpleminded customers. A cellular transceiver is not that expensive anymore. Phone subscriptions will probably expand to allow multiple devices on one account as has already happened with verizon.

RE: I personally agree
By Iketh on 5/1/2013 12:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
aaaahhh the borg has arrived!!

By fhumphrey04 on 4/30/2013 1:26:22 PM , Rating: 4
Is this man related to Ballmer by any chance? That is the only other big tech CEO to make such certain and idiotic statements.

By The Imir of Groofunkistan on 4/30/2013 3:09:46 PM , Rating: 2
Interesting in light of

Maybe he just means a phablet will replace a none-phone tablet. Fine, but that's not something that's really worth saying.

RE: interesting
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 3:15:39 PM , Rating: 2
I think I saw somewhere else that that was a fake. It came out a few days after that the picture was doctored. I dunno though. It seems like a good idea to me, phone, phablet and tablet. If you are a one trick pony, you only attract one trick pony's worth of customers.

Depends on what people do with tablets.
By Mr Perfect on 4/30/2013 1:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
Strange quote from a struggling company's CEO aside, does he have a point? What's the difference between tablets and smartphones these days? Tablets have a big screen, while smartphones can make phone calls. Other then that they pretty much run the same apps. Will people want to carry around two devices in the future?

By zephyrprime on 4/30/2013 5:19:15 PM , Rating: 1
You already explained it. Tablets have a bigger screen. We're going into a world where the typical household will probably have a dozen tablets of various form factors for specialized purposed. Books and magazines will be replaced by these tablets.

By BifurcatedBoat on 4/30/2013 5:26:18 PM , Rating: 3
Tablets have a useful purpose. They're not going to replace laptop or desktop computers, but they are good mobile media consumption devices.

I don't believe they're going to disappear, but the market will start to stagnate after it reaches saturation.

Like broken clock...
By funyun on 4/30/2013 1:30:24 PM , Rating: 2
Flexible displays, micro projectors, Google Glass, its not hard to imagine 'big' displays that are otherwise not very portable going away. Its just not going to happen in 5 yrs.

Who knows
By slawless on 4/30/2013 1:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with most of you, tablets will be around for awhile. However, 5 years in the tech industry is a long time. Who would have thought tablets would be where they are today 5 years ago.

He's probably a bit right
By tayb on 4/30/2013 1:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
I enjoy my netflix-device/iPad but it doesn't and cannot do anything I would need it to do for it to be a functional every day device. Does anyone honestly think the OSX/iOS convergence on the iPad won't be done in 5 years? Who wants to bet Apple does a better job managing multiple input technologies than Microsoft did? Microsoft already released version 1 of their convergence. The only reason Apple isn't completing this faster is because Intel has been dragging ass on battery performance.

When these devices are better fleshed out with 10 hours of battery life and 'good enough' performance the current tablet market will die. So in a sense, he's right, but if he thinks the tablet idea will die he is crazy.

By drlumen on 4/30/2013 2:17:05 PM , Rating: 2
What a myopic view of the tablet market.

My crystal ball says Thorsten Heins will be gone from RIM within 5 years. I'll bet that my prediction will be closer to reality than his.

Now, where did I leave my 42" tablet...

By Ralos on 4/30/2013 2:45:09 PM , Rating: 2
Same type of visionaries who said the same thing about smartphones 5 years ago.

Looks to me like BlackBerry have one of them genius that'll shoot them back to #1.

By uallas5 on 4/30/2013 2:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
If tablets are gone in five years, how can Picard have one centuries from now???

Oh how the complexities of time make my brain ache.

He is right
By Ushio01 on 4/30/2013 4:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
Tablet's will NOT see the growth analysts are predicting and will become a niche.

When Netbooks first appeared it was 7 inches and very low cost and it sold huge and then everyone jumped on it and now there dead.

The same will happen with Tablets, they started at 10" with the ipad yet the smaller 7" versions are most popular. Apple has taken a hit as the mini will soon be there most popular model yet it is less profitable.

Why is this so? smartphones or at least the increasing screen size's when the ipad first appeared it was sub 4" smartphone or 10" tablet yet today smartphone are available at sub 6" and if you have one of the smartphones are you really going to have a 7" tablet as well?

The answer is no, the market is now smartphone owner and 10" tablet or non smartphone owner (a rapidly declining species) and small tablet which is the larger part of the non ipad market.

This is the reason Apple doesn't want to release a large smartphone as it will destroy there ipad market. The android market doesn't care as tablet's are far less profitable than smartphones due to carrier sales.

I think if C3PO were a person...
By rountad on 4/30/2013 7:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
he'd be Thorsten Heins, judging from that picture

Track record
By Scannall on 4/30/2013 8:08:51 PM , Rating: 2
RIM CEOs don't exactly have a good track record at predicting the future of products. 2007 and the iPhone introduction come to mind.

By fteoath64 on 5/2/2013 9:59:14 AM , Rating: 2
That statement reminds me of the infamous Bill Gates quote "PCs are not going to need more than 640K bytes of RAM!".

Phones are evolving into tablets as many can see today with the phablet. The other angle is the handfree devices like Google Glass that will be a phone worn on the belt. No need for screens, no need for buttons. Either gesture or voice control and HUD visual overlay for display.

The tablet however, is going to be the "utility notebook" for most used for reading, note-taking. watching videos and surfing the net in general. It is also going to be the work laptop. Docked with large lcd screen and synchronizing data into local store and Cloud.
The home desktop/server and work server will do all the number crunching and games serving work. So unless one evolves the tablet into better and more flexible capabilities, the phone part will "disassociate" with the phablet leaving .... a tablet and a transceiver/battery.

He is wrong
By Milliamp on 5/4/2013 11:10:36 AM , Rating: 2
Part of the reason he is wrong is because the lines between "laptop" and "tablet" will continue to blend. When heavy lifting is needed you can just dock the tablet or attach a physical keyboard with extended battery and expansion ports to make it more of a laptop.

Most of what people do online is consume content and tablets are well suited to do that.

Maybe he means phablets will eventually become good enough that nobody bothers with larger tablet screens? I see competition there but not enough people want super huge phones to make the tablet market go away entirely.

By Ammohunt on 4/30/13, Rating: -1
RE: Fixed
By retrospooty on 4/30/13, Rating: -1
RE: Fixed
By Nutzo on 4/30/2013 2:23:16 PM , Rating: 5
Tablets and tablet like computers have a good chance of replacing PC's.

Not going to happen.
Tablets are mainly media consuntion devices and will not replace computers with real keyboards used in actual work.

There is some market for tablets in business, buy mainly where portability and limited data input is needed. (would you like fries with that?)

RE: Fixed
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 2:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
They do (and already have) replaced alot of consumer PC's, but definitely not in business, other than some that travel alot, but even they have it in addition to a PC/laptop , not instead of a PC/laptop. Anyhow, the consumer end is highly profitable and RIMM/Blackberry was run into the ground by idiots and then handed the reigns to another idiot, so good luck RIMM.

RE: Fixed
By fic2 on 4/30/2013 2:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
Most exec's think that the only "real" work done on computers only involves Word and PowerPoint and email.

10 years ago I am sure most people would have said that laptops would never replace "real" computers for "real" work but the majority of computers at the company I work for are laptops and the same is true for the customer that I am the tech rep for. True the software devs have workstations for their "real" work but they also have laptops. Also starting to see tablets replacing the laptops. I know my project manager has replaced his laptop with a Surface Pro tablet.

RE: Fixed
By Ammohunt on 4/30/2013 3:17:39 PM , Rating: 2
A tablet/handheld with a docking station will do everything a PC does currently and have the benefit of being extremely portable. Ever hear of a Micro USB to HDMI MHL Adapter? add a bluetooth keyboard and a mouse and you have a powerful micro PC today!

RE: Fixed
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 3:17:45 PM , Rating: 2
"A tablet/handheld with a docking station will do everything a PC does currently"

Not Android, IOS, or WinRT tablets. Only full Windows tablets can do that.

RE: Fixed
By mcnabney on 4/30/2013 3:38:47 PM , Rating: 3
Most people don't use PCs for what they 'can do'. They use them for very basic tasks - internet, email, viewing/retouching pictures, watching TV/movies, listening to music, reading, light Office work, and games.

A tablet can do all of those things.

Workstations and powerful desktops/laptops will remain in use for video encoding, compiling code, serious Office/database work, movie editing, and AAA games. But easily 90% of the home (or even office) PCs could be replaced by a decent tablet with only minor adjustments.

RE: Fixed
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 3:48:01 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agreed. Most people want internet browsing, email, maybe a few light office apps and games and that is all. <y comment was replying to someone who said a tablet with a dock can do "everything" a PC can do. No, not even close. "most home users" yes. All home users? No, and almost "none" business users.

RE: Fixed
By fic2 on 4/30/2013 4:33:44 PM , Rating: 2
I think you have a skewed view of what most business users actually do on a pc. Most are used for email, docs and presentations (surfing the web probably being the majority). The minority of business pc use is "power" use. As mcnabby said those that need code compile, video encoding, 3-d design, etc will continue to use workstations but that is not a majority of users. Oh, sure I have worked with the V.P. "power" users that thought they had to have an i7 to read their email and type their word docs, but you know what - when the iPad came out suddenly that was "good" enough because it was new and shiny. Turns out it was the bragging rights all along. Who knew? /s

RE: Fixed
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 4:44:47 PM , Rating: 2
I am pretty sure my years in IT building and supporting users with their PC's and the apps that many businesses run says I am not skewed. Office apps (as in MS office) are a big part of almost every users needs and can somewhat be mimicked on a tablet, but not the full MS office. EAS email is NOT full Outlook, and viewing and editing spreadsheets and word docs on a tablet is NOT the same as full Word and Excel. Its not even close. True some could get by, but not most. Now in addition to that, almost every company I have ever seen also has apps that run that they need to do thier jobs... Apps that only run on Windows. Dont forget, every iDevice and Mac is made in factories that run their businesses of MS PC's. Every planning, purchasing, inbound logistics, warehousing, shop floor, shipping, accounting, reverse logistics, CRM software etc etc... It all runs on PC's... Unless you can show me the tablet version of all that.

RE: Fixed
By retrospooty on 4/30/2013 4:48:50 PM , Rating: 2
I meant to add... If your assertion is that tablets "could" run these apps because they are powerful enough, I agree, but these apps don't exist on anything but Windows. Its not that Anyone couldn't make or port apps to work, but no one is... No one has even started.

No, the "business PC" is firmly entrenched and will be for many many years. With that said, there is plenty profit to be made on the consumer end. Obviously a lucrative market if you can make a product that people want.

RE: Fixed
By Ammohunt on 5/1/2013 7:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry but that is wrong any business software that isn't deliverd natively or via a web browser can be provided via a virtual desktop, Citrix client or RDP client. PC's are not needed outside of special use cases in business.

RE: Fixed
By TakinYourPoints on 4/30/2013 4:43:09 PM , Rating: 1
It really depends on the application.

In situations where a very light and portable device with 10+ hours of battery life is preferred over a laptop or being tethered to a desk, a tablet can be the better choice.

The hospital my mom is a doctor now uses iPads instead of laptops on carts for remote data entry into patient records now. Airlines have been steadily replacing physical flight documents with them on iPads instead:

There are lots of other niche uses. Some people on my crew used this remote DMX lighting board controller on the feature film "Lincoln" last year:

Obviously a tablet isn't the best solution for things like long data entry or document creation, same with things like 3D modelling. However, in situations where portability and battery life trump having a mouse/trackpad, keyboard, and big monitor, a tablet can actually be better. Even as a consumption device it is oftentimes better than a laptop in a work environment. Looking over PDFs in the field is much better with a tablet compared to doing the same by passing around a laptop.

By BillyBatson on 4/30/13, Rating: -1
RE: Explanation??
By martinw on 4/30/2013 2:34:00 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure why the parent got so downvoted. He is right, there is nothing in the article explaining why the RIM CEO holds the opinion he does. All it says is that he thinks it is not a good business model. People seem eager to throw stones based on the headline, but I'd rather have an article with a bit more substance before passing judgement.

RE: Explanation??
By Azethoth on 4/30/2013 10:02:15 PM , Rating: 2
Its easy. Blackberry sucks at tablets. They killed their tablet. Thorsten made them kill it. Therefore tablets are not something that will be used in 5 years (when the last RIM tablet dies from old age).

Oh yeah, he is speaking strictly of Blackberry tablets. Tablets are not a good business model for Blackberry. If they ever get good at tablets, then suddenly it will become a good business model again (for Blackberry).

Meanwhile, an avoidable blunder in the smartphone and tablet age has consigned them to a footnote in history 5 years from now.

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