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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: 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.


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