BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins made a bold prediction yesterday about the tablet market.
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” said at a conference, according to Bloomberg. He continued, saying, “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”
Tablets are a pretty good business for Apple. It sold 19.5 million units last quarter, generating $8.8 billion in revenue.
For BlackBerry, they’ve been a terrible business. Practically nobody bought the PlayBook, an over-priced 7-inch tablet from BlackBerry that didn’t come with built-in email. It never followed up the PlayBook with a second model.
Heins has talked in the past of using a smartphone to power laptops and tablets.
In March he said, “This is your personal computing power. Think about what you can do with that. How many personal computing devices do you carry? Why not unify this to one device that executes all your computing needs?”
In other words, your smartphone could dock into one place and your hardware just becomes peripherals.
It’s an enticing idea. Motorola tried doing it a few years ago, and nobody bought it.
It turns out there are advantages to having multiple devices. The computing power of a dedicated tablet or PC is advantageous over the computing power of a smartphone running those devices. Also, multitasking is a pain if you just have a phone doing everything.
But, maybe Heins is right! Maybe in five years we have one gadget to rule them all.
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