Blackberry CEO Predicts Tablets Will Be Obsolete In Five Years

from the i'd-bet-more-on-him-being-obsolete-by-then dept

When Microsoft was preparing its Surface tablet for the market, CEO Steve Ballmer famously -- and ridiculously --- claimed that people didn't really want iPads, but that they craved the Surface much more instead. While you have to respect a CEO believing strongly in his own company's product, there's also something to be said for CEOs who can be realistic. It seems that Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins is going the Ballmer route on tablets. In a move that appears to be an attempt to pre-defend the company's likely exit from the tablet market (which has not gone well for Blackberry), Heins argues not that Blackberry screwed up, but rather than the market for tablets is dying:
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said 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.”
That's the sound of denial that you're hearing. It is actually okay for a CEO to admit that his company screwed up (especially when, as in this case, he can dump some of the blame on its strategy on the previous leadership). But to argue that the need for tablets is going away without a more detailed explanation? That just sounds like rationalizing.

To be clear, I could easily see a world in which a tablet does become obsolete, but it would likely be one where we see a rise of eye-displays like Google Glass or further advances beyond that -- and there's no indication that that is the direction that Heins is taking Blackberry. Instead, this just looks like him covering up for the failure of Blackberry to offer a compelling product by claiming that the whole space is going to go away.


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    Ninja (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 4:04am

    Tablets as they are today will be obsolete indeed. They'll be replaced by devices powerful enough to run a full operating system capable of doing everything a computer can in a smaller, lighter device. But no, tablets will not die.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 5:28am

      Re:

      "They'll be replaced by devices powerful enough to run a full operating system capable of doing everything a computer can in a smaller, lighter device."

      Yeah, right.

      Do you program*? Try doing than in a 7 inch screen.

      Also, good luck writing something longer than "Hello world" with the built-in software keyboard.

      Tablets are great consumption devices, but they are terrible creation devices.






      * or edit videos, or work with CAD, or...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 6:11am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah, they may and will get considerably faster over time, but they'll still be satellite systems based around a real computer. Some people could probably get away with using just tablets, but those people probably don't do much actual work. I need at least two monitors to do anything anymore.

        And by anything I mean play video games while also looking at pornography. Sometimes a spreadsheet while also looking at pornography. Also dual pornography while spread-sheeting about my pornography use on my phone. I can't even find my pants anymore. Where am I.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:00am

        Re: Re:

        Why hasn't the keyboard been reinvented since the typewriter? I ask myself that all the time because it's so clumsy trying to use an old idea on a smartphone touchscreen or in this case a table.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 10:19am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It has been, many times. You have a wide variety of alternate keyboards available, both physical and for your smartphone/tablet (at least, for Android. I don't know about iDevices). I'm sure that you could find one that you like better than Qwerty.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 11:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The keyboard can be used hunt and peck, as can the nymber pad. Handwriting recognition needs a stylus and tends to be unreliability unless carefully formed characters are use. Voice recognition tends to be a problem in offices and public spaces.
          This leaves us of coding on a small number of buttons or keys. Such systems have been built, such as the original Baudot Teletype system. The problem with these system is that the operator has to memorise a set of 'chords' on the keys. If you need the cheat sheet, then you may as well use an on screen keyboard.

           

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        Mr. Applegate, May 3rd, 2013 @ 8:18am

        Re: Re:

        Absolutely agree. A tablet is a consumption device. But guess what, most technology users are consumers.

        To some degree I believe Ninja is correct. Huge towers that contain DVD burners, Hard drives... will become a thing of the past for most users. As more and more people and even companies embrace the cloud and as solid state storage systems become more economical the need for a traditional PC will fade, even for creators.

        Of course there will still be a need for traditional input devices (keyboards, ...) but the computer will appear to be little more than an over sized tablet, possibly on a removable stand. And yes I do program and have done it on a 10" screen. A little hard on the eyes, but it can be done.

        So the reality is, I believe, Ninja is correct. The PC is dead, the tablet will grow to fill that spot. I see 15" or even 22" 'tablets' that you can slide into your briefcase and take anywhere.

        What I don't see for the future is a PC with 10 cords hanging out the back either on, or stuffed under a desk. Nor do I see laptops (as we now know them) surviving. things like the Asus Transformer, though perhaps larger, will fill the space of the current laptops.

        I already use a full size bluetooth keyboard to work on my tablet, I just need a larger screen so that it is a bit easier on my eyes. But it is great to sit and my desk and work, then pick up the tablet and head to the couch or recliner or beach to review or relax. Even without a keyboard I can still handle that support call from the beach (or wherever) probably 90% of the time. I can certainly handle the initial troubleshooting and diagnostics from there and prevent a trip to the office or data center.

        Incidentally, this is also where Microsoft appears to be putting it's money with Windows 8 and Surface. They know the PC is dead. HP knows the PC is dead. Dell has seen the writing on the wall as well, and also appears to be transitioning to a different model more geared toward servers and tech appliances (printers, TVs, tablets...) than to laptops and desktops.

        So, the largest suppliers of desktops have left or are steering away from the market. M$ has decided to dip it's toe into manufacturing tablets and geared it's latest OS toward them.

        How can you possibly not see that the time of the PC is ending?

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 10:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think it depends on what you mean by "dead". Desktop PCs aren't ever going completely away. However, for most consumers, a desktop PC is overkill. You don't need such a thing just to watch videos, surf the web, and communicate.

          In the long run, PCs will follow a similar trajectory to mainframes. Mainframes used to be the most common kind of computer, before PCs supplanted them. But mainframes are far from dead, even though most people don't directly use them.

           

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            Mr. Applegate, May 3rd, 2013 @ 12:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This is pretty much what I mean. PC's aren't going to be totally extinct, they are going to be more of a specialty item though. There costs will rise, and their will be less options.

            Much more likely even for a lot of 'power users' is that you will dock your tablet to a 'workstation' (a large screen and traditional keyboard).

            Tablet sales up 142% PC sales down 14.7% See my reply to AC below for links to the reports.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 10:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because it's not there yet.

          Even if tablet sales outnumber desktop sales, which they don't, it will take many many years for the amount of tablets in use to outnumber the amount of desktops in use. Factor in the amount of PCs still being bought (more than tablets), the many many years becomes many many more.

          There is a greater chance that the desktop will fully migrate to TV displays rather than to portable devices. It's "desktop" for a reason.

          Watch movie on a 42" display a few feet away or on a portable screen that you have to hold or perch somewhere.


          Putting all the processing powers into the display... good idea that's happening.
          Having all displays be small because portable... whats the point and purpose.


          Tablets, laptops and desktops fulfill a different role. Expecting a tablet to fulfill the role of a desktop without turning that tablet into a desktop is impossible with today's tech.
          You stated yourself that you have sorta turned your tablet into a desktop by adding a bluetooth keyboard. How soon before you plug it into a sized display that doesn't hurt your eyes ?



          The pc isn't dead or dying. It's evolving.

          wtf is a tablet after all ?

           

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            Mr. Applegate, May 3rd, 2013 @ 12:48pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            What Ninja (at least I think we are on the same page) and I are talking about is the form factors of the common PC Desktop, Tower...

            They are being replaced at a fairly quick rate, even for some of the places I consult for. Many others are holding on to old XP machines rather than invest in new ones, because they don't think PC's are viable long term.

            Look at the number of BYOD trend. Gartner says by 2017 1/2 of all businesses will require BYOD in the workplace. Those people aren't going to buy a PC to put on their desk at work. They are going to bring what they use at home and adapt it. This is especially true because a lot of employers already expect you to work from home at least part of the time (even if only after hours).

            Sure there will always be niches for 'PCs' But what it was is dead. Look at Best Buy or any other tech shop. The size of the PC area has shrunk (Where I live by more than half). What took up all that space? Tablets! Retailers don't give space to things that don't sell and they take space away from things that aren't selling

            Options for PCs are way down as are sales 14% decline in the first quarter of 2013. Meanwhile tablet sales for quarter 1 jumped 142% over one year ago

            http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/11/technology/pc-sales/index.html

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/t echnology-22381037

            Tablets will grow to fill the PC roll (Large touch screen with embeded hardware and a regular keyboard (and perhaps a mouse). But the form factor known as a PC A box with a processor, hard drive, video card... is pretty much a dying breed. Sure there will be niches for them, but they will grow more expensive while tablet shrink in price and grow in abilities.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 12:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Tablets will grow to fill the PC roll (Large touch screen with embeded hardware and a regular keyboard (and perhaps a mouse)

              In other words the future is medium to large screen laptops, that is from 15 inch screen upwards. The notebook failed because its keyboard was too camped for most people. A bx, often run headless, or using the TV will be a better choice for media centres and NAS uses.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2013 @ 5:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Implying a touchscreen is better than a mouse, keyboard and peripherals.
              Implying a small portable screen is better than a large workspace.
              Implying that "PC" is not an evolving format too.
              Implying software doesn't evolve to use more cpu as new features are added.
              Implying that a tablets size, is an advantage greater than the sum of advantages available in larger form factors.
              Implying new control tech, better than touchscreens/mouse/keyboard will not be invented.

              (6-8 years and you'll be lucky to get a tablet that competes with today's "PC")


              Everything "Desktop" IS slowly migrating to the monitor. Tablets are hand held devices.
              How people make the leap, that hand held devices on a small screen will replace desktop devices with large screens, is beyond me.

              I will not throw out my 42" TV and replace it with a tablet form factor.
              I also have no need for a TV with touch screen tech.
              Desktop PC formats have a very similar functional design to TVs. (stationary workstations)
              I don't care IF a tablet has more CPU/GPU power.... I will not replace my 42" TV for a 7" handheld.


              The whole idea that tablets will take over computing is complete bullshit speculation, based on false equivalences that disregard the inevitable evolution of other products. Factor in the reality and yes, handheld devices will grow but the need for large workstations/media-Stations will still be there and if anything, there will probably be a full PC in every TV.

               

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                Mr. Applegate, May 4th, 2013 @ 8:18am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Well we strongly disagree. I am basing my opinion on what the tech industry leaders are doing.

                I am implying nothing, I am telling you where things are headed, all one needs to do is look around. The PC format hasn't evolved in what 20 - 30 years? A box connected to input and output devices that sits on or under your desk and has a hard drive, cd-rom, dvd-rom, floppy...

                Microsoft making a Touch based OS and getting into tablet manufacturing; HP getting out of the PC business; Dell realigning its focus more toward Servers and tech other than PCs or Laptops; Most software moving to a SaaS model.

                I am also basing my opinion on what is seen in retail.

                PC's won't be extinct, but they will be on life support. There will be niche markets, much like there are for MainFrames. But there will not be a PC on every desk in every office and there certainly will not be a workstation setup in every home.

                Most people will have a tablet (or some modified laptop format) that they can take anywhere and will dock to a large monitor and input devices when they need to.

                I can do that now with my phone. Young people that have grown up with smartphones and tablets don't use PC's. All of my nieces and nephews really don't like to use PCs. They much prefer tablets, phones.... That is where the market is headed.

                It makes perfect since, more mobility....

                Grandma wouldn't get rid of her console TV or 8 track tape player either. Funny, you can't buy 8 Tracks or console TVs anymore. Just because you won't get rid of yours doesn't mean the rest of the world won't move on.

                 

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        New Mexico Mark, May 3rd, 2013 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re:

        Tablets are way more useful than you portray, even now. However, I see a convergence of sorts where tablets will be the go-between and local storage for other devices.

        In the future I think we'll see some amazing things happening with portable devices, whether they are called tablets or smart phones. Imagine something that looks like a smallish tablet (5-7"), but with little or no bezel so it is about the size of some phones. It would have 24 hour plus battery life and be able to recharge wirelessly. Add the ability to prop it up and have it project a large high-definition laser-driven display on any reasonably light/smooth surface from behind while projecting a keyboard on any flat surface in front. At the same time, it would monitor either on-surface or in-the-air gestures. It would be a pretty powerful computer in its own right, but linked with cloud resources, it would have amazing "back end" resources.

        While in the pocket, it could link to and provide powerful extensions to things like Google glasses, interface with your car electronics (including sound system, of course), or even simple stuff like remembering where you parked or warning you about a weather alert.

        At home it could link to your TV and play high def videos or just use the screen as a monitor if you wanted to get some productive stuff done without having to sit at a desk.

        Of course, it would have all the standard tablet technologies which are finding some surprising uses: GPS, magnetometer, electronic gyro, wi-fi and/or cellular connectivity, bluetooth, etc.

        The cool thing is that all these technologies exist now, but are still being refined and better integrated. I suspect the main reason we haven't seen more of this already is because many of the inventions are buried in the IP swamp, but that's a different story.

         

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      crade (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

      Re:

      It's possible it might take more than 5 years, but as soon as the pocket sized devices find a way to provide a larger screen experience on the go (through projection, flexibility, whatever) tablets are dead.

       

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        crade (profile), May 6th, 2013 @ 12:21pm

        Re: Re:

        - writing directly to the back of your retina, etc :)

        Also, once they fix their motion detection so they can easily create a virtual keyboard on any flat surface..
        They kinda have projected keyboards like that now, but they have low keystroke limits and suck too much power..

        Blackberry CEO isn't taking into consideration that technology has met it's legal match in our day and progress is grinding to a standstill though.

         

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    Jay (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 4:48am

    The Ford of our day

    People believe that Henry Ford created the concept of efficiency wages off the top of his head. But they very soon forget that Henry Ford was a greedy miser who didn't have the expertise to create the automobiles that he got rich off of. He was only interested in making money and thought of low wages as cutting costs. Enter James Couzens who invested $2500 in the company. In 1903, Ford was paying his workers $1.50 a day. What Couzens did, with his wife Clara, was to tell Ford to raise the pay to $5 and allow the people to work 5 days instead of 6.

    What this did was create a middle class in Michigan, increase productivity and loyalty in Ford, and dropped the cost of cars from $800 to $400.

    The reason I tell this story is simple. Look at what Thorsten Heins is proposing. He is so adamant on just Blackberry products that he's forgotten how to compete and is leaving it. This is essentially the lesson of the Model T. You haven't learned how to innovate. You haven't learned how to produce better goods. No, you're not interested in what your workers may think are good products. You've just put yourself out to pasture.

    Here's hoping that Blackberry can come back from this but I'm not all that hopeful since they have been this way for quite some time.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 5:20am

    I see the need for tablets going in the opposite direction.
    I see a future of Padfone-like devices where your phone, tablet and computer are all one device and the only real difference on how you use them are their accessories.
    Sure we've done everything we can to make our tablets into laptops with keyboards and mice, but we still have that tablet option when we want it.
    I have no experience with Google Glass other than a few comments or videos I've seen. I'm sure it's going to be big but right now it doesn't look like it replaces any device functionality, only adds to.

     

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      Colper (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 6:27am

      Ubuntu

      I agree with your theory, and is exactly what Ubuntu is doing with their Phone (ability to use it as a computer if you'd like). As usual, Linux is ahead of the game...

       

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    Tim, May 3rd, 2013 @ 5:28am

    As we know them, yes

    Tablets, as we know them, will die. They will morph into dumb terminals for our mobile computing devices.
    So your tablet-like device will just send/receive information to/from your mobile computing device for processing/display.
    All of the internet accessing or NAS accessing and computations will be done on your mobile computing device, such as a smartphone.

     

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    reboog711 (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Screens Everwhere; powered by your device

    My impression is that he is envisioning dumb screens everywhere; that your phone can easily hooked into/power.

    I have to admit the idea is compelling; and does seem to far fetched to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 5:52am

    Has anyone noticed Microsoft's commercials for Surface?

    They're ALL choreography.

    I mean, COMPLETELY. There is nothing in them at all about the utility of these devices for computing tasks, or their networking capabilities, or their security, or really, anything else.

    If the intention was to make their commercials as content-free as possible, they succeeded brilliantly.

    Now...what does this tell us about the product?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 8:40am

      Re: Has anyone noticed Microsoft's commercials for Surface?

      I saw you could play Angry Birds in one of their commercials. That's got to be worth buying a $700 tablet for!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 6:18am

    I'm stone age, I hate tablet stuff, I HATE the mouse pads on laptops, it always leaves my fingers feeling really sore after 10 to 20 minutes of using it, and a mouse if faster & better. That's why I'll never bother with getting a tablet.

    But I think there's still plenty of idiots that'll be willing to spend a few hundred bucks on Apple iPads and similar ones from others.

     

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      Wally (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 6:39am

      Re:

      The subliminal message conveyed artistically is this...that iOS devices aren't complicated at all to use when compared to other devices...so the marketing department conveyed that by making a simple content-less advertisement. The lack of content shown on the iOS device ads is because they are only allowed to show included software in the ads lest they spend more money on the ad than need be.

      Now...the Android ads are meant to make people believe the product is cool and just as viable as any other competitor on the market...but the contentlessness of those commercials are likened to making the product look cool (mind you they are) like cigarette mascots (forgive the analogy please...it's only an example). It's symbolic character driven rather than demonstration driven....you get to test the Android device on your own.

      Now Apple used a marketing strategy of actually demonstrating to the public how to swipe, pinch...etc...on their screens in the ad...99% of the people that bought an iOS device that were new to Apple as customers already knew how to work their device out of the box....all because of the ad that showed a lack of content.

       

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        Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 6:57am

        Re: Re:

        Yeah...thanks to Apple ads I know how to use my Android tablet. Or perhaps the 10 page instruction manual helped...i dunno.

         

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          Wally (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 2:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          People scoffed when I said Apple has a tenancy to push standardization of concepts already there, but not well known.....great example of this was their ditching of ADB (Apple's version of the MiniDin connection for keyboards and mice) completely in favor of USB which was demonstrated in the first iMacG3.

           

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:06am

      Re:

      I get your gruff here but consider text messaging. How terrible was it to type a text on your old phone with the number pad? Yet people were eating it up...which drove demand for phones with full keyboards to make texting easier (yet still pretty 'uncomfortable'). Consumers liked the usefulness of texting from their phone and dealt with the difficulty. Innovators made it easier and easier to text from a phone. I would guess more people spend time texting on their phones than talking these days. Tablets will advance, too. Many of the comments about never being able to create content or have the full computing experience are ignoring the technological leaps we have made in the last 15 years. We will get there.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:16am

      Re:

      Agree touchpads and tablets are stupid.

      Nintendo DS is still pretty cool.
      Ribbon controllers are still awesome on synths.
      So the underlying tech does have amazing applications.
      Using a ribbon controller for controlling a mouse is terrible use of that tech. Using a touchscreen without a stylus, to control a "desktop wannabe OS" is terrible use of that tech.

       

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        Wally (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 2:54pm

        Re: Re:

        Though I think implementation of touch controls and buttons are a good thing as long as physical buttons exist...I cannot stand playing Chrono Trigger or Secret of Manna on a touch screen basis only, it just feels awkward for certain game types.

         

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      John Fenderson (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      I agree, personally. Tablets aren't for me. However, they are ideally suited for a lot of (most?) people. That doesn't make them idiots. That makes them people with different needs than yours and mine.

       

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    Wally (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 6:25am

    Tablets designed to be integrated with standard desktops such as the Surface will be. Tablets such as the iPad and Galaxy Note....they are very very useful...especially for taking care of things on the fly. The other thing is that most of the tablet business was meant for office functionality. Most average people use them for that or for gaming devices. The prediction it seems is a bit more reasonable.

    Now as for Steve Ballmer's comment...if you're going to say your new tablet can run Windows 8....you can't possibly claim people would want it. The only reason Windows 8 exists is for "easier" integration with your Windows RT device....and XBox360...

    But alas I am a Luddite and don't adopt early on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:06am

    He could be right tho.
    IPAD for example, is just locked down hardware to sell apps.
    The screen size is too small.
    The control interface is on screen and limits function.
    Adaptability and expandability is severely limited.
    People who thought they had a new age desktop replacement are realizing that it is nowhere close to that case.

    Tablets are good for what they are. Let's not jump on the bandwagon of misunderstanding, of what we are told they are by marketing hype.

    If you use an IPAD as your primary internet interface... I pity you.
    Really, you are missing out in so many ways. Same applies to a far lesser extent (by only affecting control), to people who use their laptop's touchpad rather than a mouse. I pity you too.
    A computer is a tool, not a fashion accessory or an ornament. So as such, the abilities of the tool, as a tool, should be of primary concern.

    Finally... NAS systems and easy to use, cheap media centers etc... will also hit tablets hard. Along with phones being the growing choice for highly portable computing.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:13am

    You all missed the underlying implication

    Tablets and indeed PCs will, in large part, go by the wayside.

    Why?

    Because mobile devices will become so powerful that they will be able to do anything that these other devices can do AND be mobile as well.

    Don't believe it?

    Imagine taking your smartphone and plugging it into a dock that supports large monitors, keyboard, mouse, webcam, etc.

    Can't really do it today very well, but in 5 years?

    Smartphones, smart devices, will be vastly more powerful and capable of running anything that today's most powerful computers can do. Plus, have the advantage of enabling you to take it with you anywhere.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:27am

      Re: You all missed the underlying implication

      5 years is a bit too optimistic even if everything else stands still.
      Also implying that new TVs, NAS etc... wont have upgrades in the mean time. Everything else stays the same while phones get "smarter" ?

      Sorry to burst your bubble here but phones are now the device that plugs into everything else. Expecting that to just switch around considering the HUGE disadvantages the phone has, is really a wild jump from reality.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:35am

        Re: Re: You all missed the underlying implication

        Last I saw, Moore's Law was still valid. 5 years will bring processors on smartphones that are 6-8 times as powerful as they are now. You can already do 3D gaming on them, which would be just about the most intense processor requirement there is now. The Blackberry Z10 already has true multitasking available, unlike most other smartphones. (most smartphones do multitasking by stopping one app and running the other without closing the first.) HDMI display connectors are already on some of these devices. Memory is always getting cheaper.

        I'd put money on this prediction being inaccurate on the long side of the time equation. Its going to be true sooner than 5 years.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 8:10am

          Desktops are the major docking stations

          It won't happen imho.

          I agree that phones will evolve and become more powerful over time. (As cpu/gpu die sizes shrink and TDP gets lower so chips can run at 5watts etc...)
          That is sure to happen.
          My prediction in that area is that intel will release a new chip with a ridiculously low TDP, so... x86 architecture will become popular on phones.
          My prediction is pretty far fetched, to want it to happen in 5years.

          Considering that high end "smartphones" are comparable to a Pentium 3 cpu with a gpu.
          Top of the line i7cpu is 120 times faster.
          Every other piece of tech also has to shrink to fit the phone, not just transistors on a die.
          In 5 years your phone still wont be able to beat my desktop of today. That's a very very high probability even if Moore's law applied to every bit of tech in the phone.


          Everything else in competition will evolve too.

          Phones becoming the central hub in 5 years.... sounds like crazy talk.
          Phones becoming the central hub in 20 years.... sounds really far fetched.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 8:16am

          Re: Re: Re: You all missed the underlying implication

          I agree, to an extent, but I think that you are forgetting one limitation: battery life.

          More powerful hardware eats more power (generally speaking), and current smartphones are already stretching it in that regard. I mean, I used to have a phone that only needed to be charged once a week. My smartphone needs to be charged once a day.

          My point is that unless battery technology improves substantially in the next 5 years, manufacturers will continue to opt for - shall we say - "sufficient" hardware specs instead of top-of-the-line ones (ARM instead of a full blown Core i7, for example) for the sake of better battery life, I think.


          (Yes, yes, ARM could deploy more power efficient chips, but power efficiency will always hurt CPU power. It's one of those tradeoffs you have to live with, unless some technological shift happens)

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 8:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You all missed the underlying implication

            When you are docked you are not using battery power.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 9:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You all missed the underlying implication

              Did you invest all your money in phone docking hardware or something ?

              Having all appliances designed around docking one device is really not that smart. Protocols that enable data transfer between devices and control being granted by protocol is a far better solution.
              eg...
              Hence the ""protocol"" of transmission of sound data via bluetooth,IEEE 802.11 or even a minijack is a far better solution than making every set of speakers have a dock for a phone.
              Sames goes for your TV etc... A tv with USB/HDMI/Scart/wireless protocols, is a far better solution than it having a docking station for a phone.

              If you imply that a master docking station, to control all these other devices via their protocols, is going to be determined by a phone, I have to disagree.
              Why would you want to ?

              It's a phone. Its primary function is to be a portable communications device. Or maybe it should be docked permanently and you get another phone to carry about.

               

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      Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:36am

      Re: You all missed the underlying implication

      I should say...
      I agree that phones will hit tablet sales hard, because ultra portable computing is more suited to something that can fit in your pocket.
      Still... phones taking over the processing of everything from TV's to desktops is way out there as a possible evolution, considering the other technologies that exist and are developing at the same time.

       

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      ChronoFish (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 10:34am

      Re: You all missed the underlying implication

      I expect plugging into nothing.

      I set my phone down and my two 20" monitors come to life. I type on my keyboard and it just works. No "plugs" necessary - except *maybe* for power.

      -CF

       

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    James, May 3rd, 2013 @ 7:23am

    Alternatives

    He might be right - eventually. And eventually *might* be soon. Both Corning and Ubuntu (and others, I'm sure) have shown some possibilities. I, for one, would love to be able to connect my phone (computer) with a physical or virtual keyboard and large screen nearby, thereby giving me a conveniently portable device that just works in multiple contexts.

     

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    Cdaragorn (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 8:25am

    Blackberry playbook was just crap

    I'm sorry, but I got the unique chance (if you can call it that) to try developing on the Blackberry Playbook before it was released at the company I worked for at the time, and all I can say is that it is a piece of absolute crap.

    When your devices OS can't even get the spec right for the language you chose to use, how on earth is anyone supposed to make anything for your device? That combined with the fact that it was slower than mud, and you have another happy paperweight courtesy of Blackberry.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 8:43am

    He would be more correct in his assessment if he were to add "...as we know them today."
    Yes, the large flat screen, physical keyboardless computer will be going away. But it is more likely it will be replaced by smaller slimmer screens with more functionality in some places, less in others. Look at the e-readers. The e-reader as it was 2 years ago will be gone in two or three more. They will be replaced by more tablet-like devices, with more functionality than the readers of today, but less than the tablets of tomorrow.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 9:16am

    This is very simple, and a LOT of people are wrong

    NOTHING is going away. Some may adapt, but the techs we have aren't going to stop. Why?

    1) Making smaller parts are ALWAYS going to be more expensive than larger parts. Therefore, there's always going to be a market for people who want cheap without sacrificing (as much) speed. Therefore, the desktop sticks around.

    2) Tablets and laptops have a VERY blurry line. That line might get blurrier, but people want better inputs than a tablet offers, so there'll still be a demand for laptops. Are there going to be a LOT of hybrids? Sure. But those will be even pricier.

    3) Real PCs are ALWAYS going to be needed for gaming. Maybe they'll look different (think: Steambox), but that's not changing. Too many people want to play things more complex than Angry Birds. And no, the fact that PCs from 5 years ago are the same speed as phones now doesn't prove anything. Because in 5 years, phones might be as powerful as PCs now, but PCs will still blow them out of the water.


    So in conclusion, there's VERY different markets for PC-type devices, so the market will continue to provide for those different demands.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2013 @ 9:24am

     

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    Greggore, May 3rd, 2013 @ 10:17am

    Every new product that becomes high in demand will hit a ceiling and level out or drop off a bit. Tablets are hear to stay, but they do need to be improved! They can not replace the PC or Laptop the way they are currently. Most tablets (mainly Apple) do not support external drives, SD drives or other media plug in's (Android is better than Apple and the BB Playbook is the best I've seen so far). File access, network access and drag and drop is not as fluid as a Laptop. And this is where the iPad\iPod really fails, where the desktop needs to have iTunes running to really share information. Believe it or not, most big businesses do not use WiFi for network connectivity on their Intranets and I have never seen iTunes on a Government PC or a major businesses PC.

    Tablets need to do the following if they want to capture the laptop playing field.

    - Act independently from cumbersome and restrictive propriety software like iTunes.

    - Allow for better file and application integration with the Host PC or Network

    - Allow for Third party installations or direct installations with out an App store.

    - Allow full access to the local file system and operating system. Let IT and Developers customize or make their own flavour of the OS.

    - Support for serious business tools (Oracle, MS SQL, SAP, eDOCS, Crystal Reports)

    - Integrated security with Microsoft ADS networks

    - Better direct connection methods to PC's in business and 1 common connection type. USB should be the norm.

    - BETTER SECURITY! believe it or not, but many businesses and government agencies can not use tablets for their lesser security.

    - Allow for direct connection of a larger range of peripheral components (printers, scanners, portable drives, security card scanners etc) with out having to purchase specific dongles or converters (this goes back to 1 type of connector).

    Android and Blackberry are making great strides in these areas to bring to the public a real "Business" model tablet, but Apple has completely stopped and almost refuses to help businesses out in these areas. At this point, the next business that addresses in their tablets these topics will take the lead in the next wave of sales.

     

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    ChronoFish (profile), May 3rd, 2013 @ 10:21am

    He's not in denile, just in the wrong space

    Blackberry had the market for "Business Smart Phones" fairly well corned prior to the iPhone and Android devices showing up.

    They had all the things that Business needs (Control over devices, rich administrative tools, corporate licensing, etc)

    When apple showed up, executives essentially said 'screw you local IT people, I want an iPhone whether the company supports it or not' That put a huge push towards the already established thrust of BYOD. Couple of years later corporations were ditching BlackBerries because service providers like Verizon were offering enterprise administration tools that IT departments crave - with a focus on Android devices.

    Apple has little patience for "enterprise" devices. The iPad got no bulk quantity breaks in price. iPads have shown up in the enterprise ONLY because consumers love them. He's right...they don't make a lot of business sense. But they are great for what they do - which is entertain.

    So in the corporate environment, the tablet will not become the device of choice. He is right about that. But all he knows is the business space. He is not concerned about the consumer space anymore than Apple is concerned about the business space.

    Tablets are here to stay. In the consumer market they will continue to destroy the laptop and desktop market. But in a business setting, they will relegated as a "nice-to-have" peripheral (except in some specialized settings) and the Desktop/Laptop/Large Screen will continue to be the computing device of choice - at least as long as touch-typing on a tactile keyboard is the most effective way of entering data in large spreadsheets.

    -CF

     

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    Anonymous, May 3rd, 2013 @ 4:17pm

    5 years? Why so long?

     

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    simplemobilepayment, May 4th, 2013 @ 10:08am

    Simple mobile payment Simple Mobile | Net10 Wireless | h2O Wireless Online Payments , Payment Center Prepaid pay by phone, Spot Mobile, Red Pocket, Ultra Mobile. Payment Center.

     

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    Wireless Internet India, May 7th, 2013 @ 5:25am

    Tablets still in demand

    I don't know about future,but tablets are still in high demand beacause of it's portability.

     

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    Brett Cairns, Jun 10th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Technology

    Tablets likely will be gone in five years. People use them today for things like searching for a home but as with all technology it generally has a very short life until the next innovation comes out.

     

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