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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 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: http://www.foreflight.com/

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: http://synthe-fx.com/products/luminairipad

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.


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