BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins recently offered a baffling perspective on the tablet market: He thinks it is a dead-end business. In fact, he sees tablets going away entirely before the end of the decade.
"In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," said Heins in an interview with Bloomberg. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model."
Interesting perspective. I don't necessarily disagree except for his short timeline. The corollary to his tablets-will-go-away theory is that eventually smartphones will go away too. The latter just might take a few years longer.
Early 2012, there was a lot of discussion of whether tablet will completely replace the laptop market. This year, Heins gives a total different perspective. I'm not necessarily leaning towards one way or the other. To me, I enjoy the flexibility and productivity of a PC; whilst, tablet provides a handy option on travelling. What about you? How often do you use your laptop and your tablet? Under what circumstances you will choose one device over the others, personally and professionally?
When traveling, either for work or vacation, I only take the iPad. If necessary, I can always use it to VNC into my Windows or Linux machines to access files there. But for everyday tasks on the road, like checking email & web browsing, the iPad is fine on it's own.
My laptop now gets used more like a portable desktop -- always in a docking station either at the office or at home.
His view seems to largely focused on Western markets. Because BlackBerry can hardly compete with the low margin and cheaper tablets on which hundreds of millions in developing countries will for first time lay their hands on something that 'computes.' Instead of ignoring at its own peril, BlackBerry could do better by finding ways to add value and hopefully realize better margins in tablets.
I believe, in five or maybe ten years we will connect our keyboards, screens, printers, hard-disks and all kinds of peripheries to our smart-phones and use it for work and entertainment over the internet. And tablets, PCs, notebooks etc. will be unnecessary.