BlackBerry Chief Believes Need for Tablets Will Disappear in Five Years

Paul Lilly

Are tablets a passing fad?

It seems like the whole world has gone crazy over tablets, and you can't go more than a week without some market research firm posting gloom and doom numbers on the desktop PC side due to consumer interest in mobile. Be that as it may, and despite falling prices for increasingly powerful tablets, not everyone believes the form factor will stand the test of time. Just the opposite, BlackBerry's Thorstein Heins -- the guy who runs the show -- believes tablets are a bad business model that will be lucky to last past 2018.

"In five years I don’t think there will be a reason to have a tablet anymore," Heins told Bloomberg in an interview yesterday at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model."

Heins may still feel jaded after his company's BlackBerry PlayBook essentially crashed and burned (incidentally, Daily Steals is selling a re-certified 7-inch PlayBook today for a mere $119, a far cry from the tablet's original $499 price tag when it first debuted). These days the Canadian company is focused on making a comeback in mobile via smartphones and its BlackBerry 10 (BB10) platform. It's through these products that Heins and company hope to be "the absolute leader in mobile computing" in five years.

In a separate interview with Bloomberg Television, Heins acknowledged reports that BlackBerry's Q10 device is selling very well in the U.K., adding he expects to sell "tens of millions of units."

Do you agree that tablets will essentially become obsolete in five years?

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