There Will Be No Reason to Have a Tablet in Five Years – Chief Exec of BlackBerry

Thorsten Heins Downplays Importance of Media Tablets as BB PlayBook Failed

by Anton Shilov
04/30/2013 | 11:37 PM

As sales of media tablets sales are growing rapidly and promise to outsell notebooks in the coming years, BlackBerry chief executive officer Thorsten Heins thinks that eventually media tablets will fall a victim of notebooks and smartphones since the former offer larger screens, while the latter provide better portability.


“In five years I don’t think there will be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model,” said Thorstein Heins in an interview with Bloomberg news-agency.

BlackBerry’s PlayBook media tablet released in 2011, which ran a QNX-based operating system, failed to gain any traction on the market since it was not ready (e.g., it did not have an email client). The manufacturer only sold 150 thousand of such devices and had to write down $485 million in unsold inventory. At present BlackBerry has no plans for a media tablet and claims that it would only offer such a device provided that it is unique.

Both tablets and smartphones are excellent consumption devices. Moreover, as tablets become more sophisticated, they can actually assist in every day’s activity in cases when notebooks seem too large.

Presently, BlackBerry is focused on development of its BB10 multi-tasking-oriented operating system for smartphones as well as expansion of its smartphone lineup. It is believed that the company is preparing an inexpensive and premium handsets.

Previously, BlackBerry was cautious about plans to design smartphones for mainstream market or even entry-level market, but as it appears, a mid-range BB10 handset is on track for release in the middle of BlackBerry’s fiscal 2014, which is around September – October, calendar 2013. Moreover, throughout this FY2014, which ends in March, 2013, the company wants to roll-out a top-to-bottom range of smartphones based on the BlackBerry 10 platform.

Currently BlackBerry has two BlackBerry 10-based handsets: Z10 with 4.2” multi-touch screen as well as Q10 with QWERTY keyboard and 3.1” display.