Tablets are extremely popular at the moment. They offer the convenience and perfect blend between a PC and a smartphone at the right size between the two. New versions are released and news revealed every other month and things are pretty competitive in the market among these devices and modern devices in general. The major companies that put out smartphones tend to also put a tablet of so sort to keep them spread out.
In an interview at the Milken Institute conference, Blackberry CEO Thorstein Heins made the prediction that the popular tablet would be gone in five years saying that tablets were not a good business model. While IHS iSuppli’s manager for monitors and tablets mentioned that technology does move very quickly and “goes through an arc”, she also stated that “…our forecasts show a large tablet market in five years.”
BlackBerry’s PR manager Kim Geiger told TechNewsWorld that the statement is pretty much that Heins always says about mobile devices anyway. She also stated that BlackBerry will “…continue to evaluate our tablet strategy, but we are not making any shifts in that strategy in the short term. When we do have information about our PlayBook strategy, we will share it.”
Prior to that, Heins has made comments that BlackBerry wouldn’t explore tablets again until there was potential for success—which is somewhat telling about how BlackBerry feels about their chances in the tablet market. That PlayBook didn’t take off as BlackBerry hoped it would, but that doesn’t mean that the company couldn’t get it done if they tried again. BlackBerry actually managed to get their newest BlackBerry smartphone the Z10 to be more in line with the rest of the smartphones going on now as far as design and functionality is concerned. While it’s a never say never situation in any business, Heins’ opinions on tablets does make it seem like he has no interest In having BlackBerry enter the tablet market again if it will be on the outs in just five years anyway—which is similar to one or two years in technology years.
Of course Heins could end up being right. While tablets wouldn’t simply go away—desktops, standalone PDAs and calculators, and landline phones are still being sold—there will be a time when they’re not as hot as they are currently. It will take a while and the next popular device to knock the tablet from its perch. As said before, the tablet give the right blend of desktop/laptop and smartphone in that it doesn’t take up any room, is usually extremely functional allowing for work and recreation, and—the least important—they’re not garish. It would take a device that does the same and more.
Also, tablets have add-ons that can allow for it to function the same way as a desktop/laptop such as keyboards and the like. This allows for tablets to be more useful for a variety tasks and adds some longevity to the device that it doesn’t need at the moment.
What do you think of Thorstein Heins’ opinions on tablets? Do you give them five years as well? Is he just sour over the lack of success the PlayBook managed? What do you see being the next thing that could top tablets?