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RIM CEO Thorsten Heins   (Source: ReadWrite.com)
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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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
quote:
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.


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