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. identicon
    Greggore, 3 May 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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