Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 1st May 2013 09:29 UTC, submitted by matthew-sheffield
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless CEO of Blackberry Thorsten Heins said yesterday that he doesn't believe the tablet computer market is long for this world. "In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," he tells Bloomberg News, "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model." If the dream of one device wirelessly interacting with all sorts of displays and peripherals comes to fruition, he may actually have a point.
Order by: Score:
Right
by Soulbender on Wed 1st May 2013 09:58 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

"Our venture into the tablet market failed miserably, ergo the tablet market has no future."

Nice try, non-player.

Reply Score: 8

RE: Right
by cdude on Wed 1st May 2013 14:03 UTC in reply to "Right"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

He did not refer to yesterday or tomorrow but to "next 5 years". Think polymer-keyboards, projections, Google Glasses. If the reasons why Tablets are successful, integrated bigger display and input-methods, are changing then whats left that can't be done with smaller devices like smartphones or a watch?

Edited 2013-05-01 14:07 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Right
by majipoor on Wed 1st May 2013 14:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Right"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

"He did not refer to yesterday or tomorrow but to "next 5 years". "

Then he is wrong: there is a least a big market for tablets until a supposed "next big thing".

But considering that Blackberry did already try to enter this market, I think it is more reasonable to say that they do not know how to compete and prefer not to try.

It is a little bit like Apple in 2009 which thought the netbook market was not worth to be considered. I am not sure however that Blackberry is already almost ready to actually ship the next revolution which will destroy the tablet market. Apple was.

Edited 2013-05-01 14:21 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Right
by cdude on Wed 1st May 2013 14:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Right"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Then he is wrong: there is a least a big market for tablets until a supposed "next big thing".


He could only be wrong if that "next big thing" not happens next 5 years. Is that really your believe that tablets are the optimum and nothing is going to replace them?

But considering that Blackberry did already try to enter this market, I think it is more reasonable to say that they do not know how to compete and prefer not to try.


Maybe. Now how that's related to your statement that there will be no "next big thing" in the next 5 years?

It is a little bit like Apple in 2009 which thought the netbook market was not worth to be considered.

And today, 3-4 years later, Netbooks-hype is gone and was replaced with the tablets-hype. Good example of yours why we shouldn't take it for granted that there will be nothing else coming along next 5 years to replace tablets.

Edited 2013-05-01 14:41 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Right
by majipoor on Wed 1st May 2013 14:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Right"
majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

"Now how that's related to your statement that there will be no "next big thing" in the next 5 years? "

But it is not my statement! Nobody knows what will be the next big thing and when it is coming.

Heins comments are here to explain why Blackberry will not enter the tablet market (again) in case you do not understand that point.

I say he is wrong saying this market is not worth it.

Edited 2013-05-01 14:45 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Right
by cdude on Wed 1st May 2013 16:02 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Right"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

Heins comments are here to explain why Blackberry will not enter the tablet market

In a Blackberry context with a core-business of mobile and businesses a mass-consumer tablet with another focus (Playbook for gamers) is a very different story. Apple is consumer mass-market, Microsoft is. Blackberry? That's not where they make there money.

The real question I would ask is: if not tablets then what else? Is Blackberry smartphone only or are they working on whatever they identified as "next big thing" in context of there business strategy and since I am sure they are working on it, what is it?

Just stupid nobody asks that questions but questions that tablets could be replaced within next 5 years or tries to turn the thing often enough around to question a strategy Blackberry had and still has since years. But very best case is arguing that Apple has another strategy. My oh my.

Edited 2013-05-01 16:20 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Right
by jared_wilkes on Wed 1st May 2013 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Right"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Blackberry, nee RIMM, was once an enterprise company. That market plateaued in the early aughts. The majority of their business and virtually all of their "growth" over the last 5-10 years has come from the consumer segment. It's no longer mid-level execs obsessing with clearing the red email status LED that are their core business -- it's 15 year olds in the UK, Brazil, and India using BBM.

The fact that they now need to serve two very different markets, one which is reliable and stable but small and one which has potential for growth but is based on a single feature and the economic constraints of its consumers is all the more troubling.

Edited 2013-05-01 16:22 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: Right
by cdude on Wed 1st May 2013 16:27 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Right"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21
RE[2]: Right
by tylerdurden on Wed 1st May 2013 17:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Right"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

I personally would not trust the insights on what the next 5 years are going to bring, from the CEO of a company which has systematically missed every major trend in their market space for the past 5 years...

Given blackberry's recent track record, then it must mean that tablets have great short term market prospects.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Right
by Nelson on Thu 2nd May 2013 03:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Right"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

To be fair, he hasn't been at the helm of BB for a lot of those strategic blunders.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Right
by Soulbender on Thu 2nd May 2013 05:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Right"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

On the other hand, he has been at RIM in top management positions since 2007.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Right
by Nelson on Thu 2nd May 2013 05:31 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Right"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Right, so he *does* actually share part of the blame. Interesting.

Reply Score: 2

Interesting...
by Moochman on Wed 1st May 2013 10:56 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Sounds like they are working on positioning their smartphones as desktop replacements by allowing them to be connected to bigger screens... I'll be interested to see what they come out with.

But yeah, to argue that there's no tablet market is silly. Maybe no tablet market for BlackBerry, though. And actually I'm OK with that, as long as they keep making good phones.

Edited 2013-05-01 10:57 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Interesting...
by BlueofRainbow on Wed 1st May 2013 12:30 UTC in reply to "Interesting..."
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

It is difficult not to be sceptical of any futuristic vision coming from a CEO.

Nevertheless, he may be approximately right in this case.

As a consumer, why would I want to purchase a smartphone with Android or iOS on a 3", 4", or 5" display at $400-$550 (no contract) AND a tablet also with Android or iOS on a 7", 9.6" or 10" display at $500-$750 (WIFI)? The same applies to BB10, Windows 8, and the open source mobile initiatives.

If I remember correctly, there was supposed to be an app allowing a BlackBerry phone to be tethered to the PlayBook. It never worked really well but is a hint of possibilities.

RIM had essentially to lower the price of the PlayBook to sell them. The end price was roughly that of the expected value of the display/touch interface (reference point being photo frames of similar resolution and size), the battery, and the flash memory (reference being microSD of 16, 32, and 64 GB capacities). There was no value-added for the CPU and the OS.

Such a model would work with true multitasking in the mobile os and a bi-directional link to the display tablet (or the 60" TV) allowing the user gestures to flow back into the smartphone.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Interesting...
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Wed 1st May 2013 13:20 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting..."
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Your price point on 7 inch tablets is way off.

BTW, anyone else notice that the tablet sizes are almost always in inches? Now that I think of it, screen sizes for everything are also in inches. Is that solely a US or English phenomenon? If so, what do they call a nexus 4, 7, or 10 ? Is it marketed as Nexus 102, 178, and 254 ?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Interesting...
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st May 2013 13:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting..."
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

In The Netherlands computer screens are generally in inches, but TV screens are nearly always in centimeters now.

Most people have no clue what an inch is in length, but like me they just think 10 is more than 7, 17 is less than 20.

With tablets and monitors you usually want to see them for real before you buy them.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Interesting...
by Brendan on Wed 1st May 2013 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting..."
Brendan Member since:
2005-11-16

Hi,

In The Netherlands computer screens are generally in inches, but TV screens are nearly always in centimeters now.

Most people have no clue what an inch is in length, but like me they just think 10 is more than 7, 17 is less than 20.

With tablets and monitors you usually want to see them for real before you buy them.


Here (Australia) it's a mixture of inches and centimetres (measured diagonally).

It should be measured in square centimetres (area not length). Compare the size (area) of a 4:3 100 cm screen to the size of a 21:9 100 cm screen. They're both "100 cm" but the area is quite different...

- Brendan

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Interesting...
by BlueofRainbow on Wed 1st May 2013 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting..."
BlueofRainbow Member since:
2009-01-06

My pricing ranges given were for illustration purposes only.

Yep, the 7" tablet ($150-$300 for a decent one)is the odd one - especially in a widescreen format. It is too big to be a phone and too small to easily provide the surface area for side-by-side multitasking. To really succeed, the 7" tablet will need a killer app which works best only for that screen size.

A device name as Nexus 4, 7, and 10 is easier to remember (for word of mouth marketing) than Nexus 102, 178, and 254.

I remember specifically one device which was marketed based on its size - the Acorn A4 portable computer - and the name had meaning only in countries in which the size of the most common paper sheet is designated as A4.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Interesting...
by mahiyu on Wed 1st May 2013 19:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Interesting..."
mahiyu Member since:
2010-08-06


Yep, the 7" tablet ($150-$300 for a decent one)is the odd one - especially in a widescreen format. It is too big to be a phone and too small to easily provide the surface area for side-by-side multitasking. To really succeed, the 7" tablet will need a killer app which works best only for that screen size.



I used to have a 10" tablet (Advent Vega), and replaced it with a Nexus 7. It's big enough to be useful (a 5" screen would be too small for me) but less cumbersome to hold than the 10". 7-8" is the perfect tablet size for me.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Interesting...
by Delgarde on Wed 1st May 2013 22:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Interesting..."
Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Your price point on 7 inch tablets is way off.

BTW, anyone else notice that the tablet sizes are almost always in inches? Now that I think of it, screen sizes for everything are also in inches. Is that solely a US or English phenomenon? If so, what do they call a nexus 4, 7, or 10 ? Is it marketed as Nexus 102, 178, and 254 ?


In NZ, sizes for TVs are commonly seen in either inches or cm, but other devices - tablets, phones, computers - tend to be in inches. Which is kind of annoying, since this is the *only* situation where stupid US imperial measures are routinely used...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Interesting...
by Pro-Competition on Wed 1st May 2013 15:29 UTC in reply to "Interesting..."
Pro-Competition Member since:
2007-08-20

I like the idea behind products like the Asus PadFone - the phone contains the "computer", and you can dock it with a larger display to make a tablet, and attach a keyboard to make a netbook-type thing. But you still have a tablet form factor in the mix.

Unless head-mounted displays and virtual keyboards/surfaces go mainstream in the next five years, this prediction is probably wrong.

(And FWIW, I will NOT talk, twitch, wave my hands or otherwise gesticulate in public in order to control my computer. It just won't happen.)

Reply Score: 4

Comment by M.Onty
by M.Onty on Wed 1st May 2013 10:57 UTC
M.Onty
Member since:
2009-10-23

If the dream of one device wirelessly interacting with all sorts of displays and peripherals comes to fruition, he may actually have a point.


Exactly. How many people who own a tablet don't own a smart phone? The innards are practically identical, so why not use the phone to wirelessly control the tablet? No point in stopping there either. Wireless control of your TV also makes a lot of sense. Got a laptop, but don't use CAD, play high-end gaming or compile kernels? Then just buy an empty screen, keyboard, trackpoint, battery & speakers in a laptop case & control it from your phone.

It won't happen for years because phone OS' are currently concentrating on, y'know, doing what people actually want them to do.* But eventually smartphones will have the excess of power that PCs have had for the past five years, & someone will start being inventive.

The Ubuntu phone is a tiny glimpse at this future, even if its not actually a success on its own terms. Not sure Blackberry is though ...

* The old "they would have asked for a faster horse" Henry Ford quote comes to mind.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by M.Onty
by cdude on Wed 1st May 2013 14:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by M.Onty"
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21
RE: Comment by M.Onty
by jared_wilkes on Wed 1st May 2013 16:38 UTC in reply to "Comment by M.Onty"
jared_wilkes Member since:
2011-04-25

Who wants a large portion of their local wireless network traffic to be saturated by shifting video to a dumb device when the difference is $100-200 in parts?

As someone who currently has a smartphone, a few tablets in the household of various sizes, an Apple TV, and several PCs on a local network and who does use AirPlay NOW quite a bit to do what is presumably Thorstein and Thom's endgame five years from now, I can tell you I see absolutely no desirability in trying to get to one master device that streams video and data to many different, dumb screens of various form factors. It's a feature, a useful one at that, but it's actually the wrong vision.

The "smart" processing internals of these devices is already less than a few hundred dollars and will easily be less than a hundred or fifty dollars total in five years. I'll pay the $50-$100 bucks to have all my devices smart rather than having a slow, saturated, more expensive network.

Edited 2013-05-01 16:41 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by M.Onty
by M.Onty on Wed 1st May 2013 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by M.Onty"
M.Onty Member since:
2009-10-23

Who wants a large portion of their local wireless network traffic to be saturated..?


Good point.

I was talking to someone in my area who runs a networking company yesterday who sets businesses up with connexions by wireless.

He was reminiscing about a time years ago when he attended a networking conference & got chatting with some top brass from a major ISP.

He asked the brass why they're supplying WiFi routers to every one of their customers? They could easily set up a mesh thing, but giving everyone their own router would quickly saturate local network traffic. Man replied that was already happening & grinned.

Wind forward to now & this small company has had to buy extra bandwidth because the ISPs had been deliberately saturating with home WiFi routers to protect their landline business model.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by M.Onty
by zima on Mon 6th May 2013 21:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by M.Onty"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

Reminds me about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcomputer_revolution#The_Home_Comp... - a fairly similar vision, but which just turned out to be a wrong way of doing things.

Electronic innards get less expensive at a steady pace, so each device can have them; networking them is hard.

Reply Score: 2

Context
by frood on Wed 1st May 2013 11:07 UTC
frood
Member since:
2005-07-06

I'd be interested to hear the context the comment was made. If it's in terms of enterprise customers, he may well be right.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st May 2013 11:10 UTC
MOS6510
Member since:
2011-05-12

I think the prices and profit margins of tablets will go down, making the tablet market not that interesting as it was at the start.

But this happened to the PC market too. Despite this it kept going for years and years, until the tablet started making it even more difficult to make any money out of it.

The tablet will probably replace the laptop for a great deal at people's home and to a lesser degree desktops. Less so in business, but they will be used more and more as an additional tool.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by MOS6510
by sparkyERTW on Wed 1st May 2013 13:42 UTC in reply to "Comment by MOS6510"
sparkyERTW Member since:
2010-06-09

They're going to have to come a long way to replace laptops, and even further for desktops. I bought an ASUS Transformer, thinking that it might serve well enough to replace my laptop. Fast forward to now and I use my laptop 95% of the time; the tablet just simply is not powerful enough - especially in terms of the UI - to keep up with many of the jobs/tasks I throw at it, leaving me frequently saying to myself "this is just too long/cumbersome/gimped... where'd I put my laptop..."

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by MOS6510
by MOS6510 on Wed 1st May 2013 13:50 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by MOS6510"
MOS6510 Member since:
2011-05-12

It depends what kind of user you are I guess.

I could do my job using a tablet, but if wouldn't be very convenient. But outside of work a tablet can fulfill my needs pretty well. Since I got one I rarely touch my laptop at home.

A lot of people/users are simple information consumers. They want to sit in the living room or garden, read news on the Internet, sent a few emails, watch YouTube and perhaps play a time killing game. Any tablet can do that.

If you type a lot and/or work in a number of application at the same time then a laptop or desktop computer quickly outclasses a tablet.

Using my phone and tablet I can stay away from the computer for a very long time.

Reply Score: 4

not
by fran on Wed 1st May 2013 13:45 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

I seriously doubt what Thorsten is saying.
imo it will only grow and grow.

Reply Score: 2

RE: not
by No it isnt on Wed 1st May 2013 14:38 UTC in reply to "not"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

Nothing ever only grows and grows.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: not
by tylerdurden on Wed 1st May 2013 16:58 UTC in reply to "RE: not"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

good luck trying to slow down entropy...

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: not
by No it isnt on Thu 2nd May 2013 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: not"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

OK, then. Only empty space can grow indefinitely.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Chris_G
by Chris_G on Wed 1st May 2013 15:14 UTC
Chris_G
Member since:
2012-10-25

Sounds more like blackberry is not long for this world.

It's a shame. BB 10 is such a wonderful OS.

Reply Score: 2

Laundry
by fretinator on Wed 1st May 2013 17:02 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I need to do some laundry tonight, because someone has been blowing smoke up my...

Reply Score: 4

RE: Laundry
by adkilla on Wed 1st May 2013 19:40 UTC in reply to "Laundry"
adkilla Member since:
2005-07-07

Wouldn't your knickers have got in the way?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Laundry
by fretinator on Wed 1st May 2013 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE: Laundry"
fretinator Member since:
2005-07-06

No, the smoke was coming hot and heavy. Tablets are not going away. Instead, I see more detachable keyboards as a standard feature. A phone and a display is terrible for typing. Hopfully there will be more phones that can dock in a display/keyboard accessory. That "could" lessen tablets somewhat, but if they do it right, the end result is still a tablet/laptop (wait, it's a phabletop!! COPYRIGHT 2013). It is semantics at that point.

Tablets will die out when navigation and input becomes even simpler on the phone. Speech recognition isn't enough, because I would get fired at work!

Edited 2013-05-01 20:19 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Enterprise Customers
by roblearns on Wed 1st May 2013 19:24 UTC
roblearns
Member since:
2010-09-13

I think he was referring to enterprise customers.

I believe you have to put things in context. Some enterprises have applications where at one time you'd carry around a piece of paper and a clipboard. I had a job in my youth where I not only had a clipboard, but a camera and a laptop. I was doing survey's and I needed the computer to computer latitude and longitude, the camera to photo the proposed installation site, and the clipboard with a piece of paper to actually write down information.

Obviously, combining all that into a tablet app - would be awesome.

But then all the enterprises that had sales people clamoring for a tablet, and then they discovered that a tablet sucks for typing, and the screen is too small to do real productive work for extended period - may be back tracking on tablet plans.

So yeah- I can see after 'years' that the enterprise market figures out tablets never made sense in the first place to replace certain desktop apps that require full keyboards and 27" screens.

But, as for tablets in general, of course not, they'll be around for a little while.

Interestingly enough people wonder about the future of google glasses, but not so much the future of augmented reality - when, it only takes a little bit of imagination to figure out that augmented reality is kind of stupid on a cell phone, when compared to the awesome experience of it on google glasses.

Yeah, I don't know if people want specifically Google's google glasses - but some form of this is going to take off.

Google's pretty smart, their version might be the version - but augmented reality on wearable glasses - rock on.

I'd take that instead of a tablet.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Enterprise Customers
by tylerdurden on Wed 1st May 2013 23:03 UTC in reply to "Enterprise Customers"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

You know there is more to "business" than a person sitting in a cubicle typing away. Right?

There are plenty of business applications where a tablet form factor makes a hell of a lot more sense than a PC or a phone. E.g. iPads are starting to replace traditional POSs among many small merchants. Tablets are great for inventory, consulting manuals in place, checklists, etc, etc.

Reply Score: 3

from where I sit
by unclefester on Fri 3rd May 2013 05:21 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Two years ago I would see a lot of people doing "serious" work on a tablet. These days almost everyone seems to have switched to using laptops or ultrabooks. The tablet now seems to be little more than a media consumption device for most users.

Reply Score: 3