Tablet PCs have five years to live: BlackBerry CEO

Thorsten Heins, BlackBerry‘s CEO, thinks tablets will be a dead market in just five years. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, he said that, “there won’t be a reason to own one by that time. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

These comments follow recent data presented by the IDC showing that for Q1 2013, tablet shipments have increased by 142.4% year-on-year, with Apple leading with 19.5 million units shipped, followed by Samsung with 8.8 million units.

Heins further noted that the company has good growth for the BlackBerry 10 platform with the launch of the Z10 mobile phone and plans to see more growth with the Q10, the company’s new flagship QWERTY smartphone with a 3.1-inch screen. Shares for the company rose 4.4% to $16.29 and stock value has increased overall by 37% after generally good reception of the Z10.

“In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing – that’s what we’re aiming for,” Heins said. “I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat.”

BlackBerry Z10 front and back
BlackBerry Z10 front and back

Heins took over the reins from former Blackberry CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, who had been running the company since its creation in 1984. Formerly known as Research in Motion (RIM), the company changed their logos and corporate name to BlackBerry on 30 January 2013 to match the only product they currently sold – mobile phones (and one tablet) under the BlackBerry brand.

Slow growth has been plaguing the company’s financial stability, and in America, RIM saw sales drop as Apple’s iPhone and a slew of Android devices took over their market share. According to NetMarketshare.com, BlackBerry devices account for 1.51% of American market share as of April 2013.

Sales of the company’s BlackBerry Playbook, their only tablet and the device that served as the basis for the BlackBerry 10 platform, have also been lacklustre. The device was criticised by developers for being reliant on using a Blackberry handset for e-mail and calendar facilities, and after shipments of approximately 900,000 tablets in just nine months, RIM had to write down the inventory value of the tablets they still had by $485 million.

Source: Bloomberg, IDC.com

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Tablet PCs have five years to live: BlackBerry CEO