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.

Filed Under: ipad, tablet
Companies: blackberry


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  1. icon
    Wally (profile), 3 May 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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