BlackBerry Chief Believes Need for Tablets Will Disappear in Five Years



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Tablets are the logical intermediate/offspring of phones, laptops, and portable media players. They are a portable television that actually works...and is interactive and slightly productive too. That's all they are.

They have a comfortable place in the world that I believe supplants those other things in some circumstances, but will not REPLACE them. In five years they will be so common that sales and prices will fall off, and we will begin to see things like "built-in IR remote" features, so we can do such mundane things like keep them around the house, and control our other media systems with them. Likewise we can take them on the road when we don't feel like bringing our laptop.

Honestly all this fuss is silly. Are they part of the future? yes. Are they THE future? NO. But they're not going the way of the netbook either....they are the new netbook.



I think mid-range tablets could go away. People who just want basic functionality will opt for the low cost tablets, like the iPad Mini, the Nexus 7 or the upcoming 7" Windows tablets. More serious users will go for the "hybrid/convertible" tablets. They are costly, but they can be effective workstations and allow for more casual usage, like reading and playing touch-screen games.



Does *anybody* think Blackberry will be around in 5 years? Two years? (Two years might be possible due to contracts and pointy-haired resistance to change).

Given: Desktops are the best place to do real work (or real gaming).

Obvious question, if desktops are so much better, why are notebooks outselling desktops?

Captain Obvious responds: People don't buy computers "for real work". Almost nobody does "real work" on computers. Expect tablets to completely replace notebooks (hybrids that allow easy access to a touchscreen* might survive). Notebooks will keep replacing any desktops not used for "real work". A tiny hold-out will remain, but the $64k question is if it will be enough to fund its own infrastructure or will it have to piggyback off of mobile?

NOTE: the only real replacement for tablets are something like google glass. It's a matter of convinience and ability to shove data through your eyes that (non-eye mounted) phones just never will have, and full sized desktop displays won't move.

* Since Blackberry likely exists due to their use of real keyboards, he might be referring to tablets that don't include keyboards. My guess is that he "is", but doesn't want that mentioned in this type of link that talks about what he is saying.



Eventually, business will wake up and realize you can't do much actual work on a fucking Etch-A-Sketch.



He's actually probably right. Might not be 5 years but it's coming, at least (generally) in the business world.

A year ago about 50 people in my department had an iPad or Android Tablet. That's down to about 3-5.

Quite a few of us have a Surface or something with a touch screen and Windows 8 Pro/Enterprise. Those who couldn't stand Win8 went back to their old laptops. For the Surface users, we just plug into a USB 3 docking station at home / work / wherever to drive our display, mouse, keyboard, etc so we just have to worry about bringing the Surface from location to location. In 5 years it'll be very easy to shrink the Surface down further, especially if there there is no attached screen (just use the ones attached to our docking stations).



Maybe cell phones are the ones going away. Who needs to make a "phone" call if Tablets could be use to make "video" calls? I mean Tablet's have web cams and Skype can be used for video calls... The technology and programs, or apps if you prefer, is all in place. Stalker's everywhere will love trying to time their crush getting out of the shower right, lol



Personally, I think we are going to see more of something akin to the ASUS padFone becoming more and more popular in five to ten years. A phone at the core, that can be docked into a tablet for tablet use, and then another step forward, can be docked into a "desktop" mode dock connected to keyboard, mouse, and monitor, (and maybe a hard drive for additional storage,) to accomplish business tasks, creativity tasks etc. And maybe even another type of dock connected to your tv for movie/video streaming and gaming. I don't think tablets will be gone. I think the technology will simply evolve.


Paper Jam

I'd say tech is going to go even further than that. Imagine everything listed here was wireless. Smart TVs and monitors that connect whenever you're in range, and sync documents and data through the cloud so that everything follows you no matter where you go.



No. Consider the source.



"..Tablets themselves are not a good business model"

I'm a huge fan of Blackberry's but if this guy really knows what a successful business model is, he's kept it one hell of a secret while that company slips into oblivion.

In their rush to cash in on the unsuccessful business model of tablets, they created one (playbook) so gawd awful it's practically useless. This guy is an absolute idiot.



I disagree. For many years all suppliers focused on was power and features. Faster! more memory! bigger screen! more cores! When in reality, the vast majority don't need any of that, they just need something to browse for stuff and do their social things.
Having said that, I don't see anything dying...

1- Desktop PCs will still be there... gamers still need their fix.
2- Laptops/Ultrabooks will still be there... professionals still need to do serious work when travelling.
3- Tablets will obviously still be there... Cheap easy to use devices for the 80/20 rule (80% of the people need only 20% of the functionality).
4- Phones (or phone-sized tablets) will still be there... pocket-size communication devices will still be needed.

If you're not a gamer, you won't need #1. If you're not a traveling businessman you won't need #2. If you don't like carrying around bags you might not need #3 (but you will need either #1, #2 or #3 for your home). And pretty much everybody will need #4.



Ultrabooks can do serious work? I don't think so, not with their weaker processor variants that prioritize power consumption over processing power, low resolution screens and anemic GPUs. They lack the raw CPU computational power to do serious work, the GPU is too weak to pick up the slack for heterogeneous computing and the crappy screens make everything from graphics editing to working with spreadsheets tedious.

I'd believe that the laptop that can convert to a tablet will take the place of #3, obviating the "traditional" tablet, since they have all the advantages of the laptop and almost all the advantages of the tablet, with none of the traditional tablet disadvantages. JMO.


Peanut Fox

What you've described sounds a lot like Microsoft's Surface.



I think he meant "serious" as in modifying docs, spreadsheets, ppt presentations, etc... in their native software like Office and such.

In other words, tablets are more of a consumption device whereas netbooks can be considered a more of a creation device.



That's kind of why I feel like BlackBerry is positioning themselves with tablets, where they positioned themselves with iPhones 5 years ago when they called the iPhone/Smartphones "passing fads."



I agree with pretty much with what you said minus your comment about desktop PC's and gamers needing their fix. Many professionals still prefer the raw power of a desktop. As an engineer and an investor, I prefer having my desktop and triple monitor setup. I have much larger screen and my desktop doesn't get hot and act like it's going to die like my last laptop did. My laptop is used fairly like you described. Only when I need the similar performance of my desktop on the move. Tablet like you said is where my wife, kids, and parents are always on today. Social media is easier on a tablet for them, watching movies and playing music/games. Phone is just the pocket version of that experience.



Wanna know what else is a passing fad? Blackberry.



+1 zing!



HIYO!!!!! lol

**No seriously though, is this the same guy that said 5 years ago that the iphone/smart phones were a passing fad and put Blackberry in a downward spiral then?(Note Z10 is finally an iphone clone, BlackBerry can survive missing one boat, now that it looks like Arnold missing some skin in Terminator. But if it misses another it's going to be Arnold as the Terminator in T2 when he's being dipped into the molten metal bath)



Today's tablets won't be around in 5 years. Most of them are running gimmicky OSes. Android is not for serious work. iOS comes close but is still too centered around content consumption. Win8 is a resource hog waiting for either the hardware to catch up or for MS to get serious about developonig a lightweight OS and actually supporting it for more than 6 months.

What options are there? Well, Chrome OS might make sense but the lack of apps hurts. Win8 maybe but MS has got to get serious about making Windows lighter and developing some real out-of-the-door apps for Modern UI. The base apps are weak compared to what is avaialbe on iOS and Android. Linux would be cool if some hardware parterns got serious in working with Ubuntu or another distro.

Apple will probably be first though. If there's anyone who has the design chops to get a productivity oriented OS onto a portable device like a tablet, it will be them. Yeah, it will still be a walled garden, and yeah you'll be paying a few hundred more than you think you should, but the followers of Apple won't mind.

Of course, this all depends on people doing something more with their computing devices than just content consumption. If the masses still demand just Youtube and Facebook and Twitter, then we'll watch the whole space stagnate.

Maybe Heins is right and the subtle detail is that it is users who will fail to advance from consumption to creation, leaving the devices with no growth future other than being toys.



"Today's tablets won't be around in 5 years." No crap, it'll be 5 years from now. lol
(** Blares the "this guy's a genius!" trumpets**)

No seriously though, everyone knows mobile platforms aren't for work unless you truly believe you're Tony Stark and you have some space age projection phone that's wildly overcompensated in a fictional movie. You build a desktop if you aren't limited to buying an expensive label on a mediocre machine and then you pull about 25x the power of a tablet to do productivity work.

I feel ike Windows 8 is a good platform waiting for people to stop bitching, adopt, and make their own apps instead of bitching about "how they want to be productive on a tablet but no apps are made already for me."(Probably the easiest way to spot you as a FanBoy) how many other OS's are designed to work on phones, tablets, mouse and key and touch desktops/laptops and a modern video game system @ the same time? what's that? You don't know one... okay, sit down and do a little facey facey facebook on your apple and let the grownups talk ok?

Meanwhile, you're right about Apple having the "design chops" as they don't really have any "engineering chops." I mean it's cool, I know you need photoshop and garageband on your tablet so you can blog about your shitty self entitled obscurely named hipster band and post your newly redesigned(cause of apple's design chops) 2 year old hardwares. But us grown ups sending rovers to Mars, and running Lard Hadron Colliders, and doing advanced game physics are going to continue to "create content" for you, the "power viewer" to enjoy and act like you understand on facebook. Don't worry, there'll still be tons of people that know slightly less about computers than you for you to talk down to.



Maybe if Steve Jobs was still around, I could see Apple bringing that down first. At the current standing, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone like Samsung beating them to the punch. But other then that, I entirely agree with your assessment.


The Mac

That $117 playbook is re certified, ,might want to clarify that.

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