The tablet market will be dead in five years. At least that’s what BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins believes. “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said 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.”
But is the tablet market really doomed? Not likely if recent sales predictions are any indication. According to a report by industry analyst group IDC, tablet sales are expected to reach 172.4 million units in 2013. In fact, Heins’ assertions aside, the tablet market appears to be stronger than ever, with Apple’s iPad selling roughly 22.9 million units in the first quarter of 2013 alone. Samsung’s Galaxy Tab and Note series of tablets have also made strong showings in the marketplace.
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This isn’t the first time Heins has poo-pooed the tablet game. The CEO previously stated that the profit margin for such products was, “very, very thin,” adding that BlackBerry wouldn’t release a new tablet if it wasn’t expected to be a surefire success.
BlackBerry hasn’t had the best experience when it comes to tablets. The company’s first attempt at jumping into the market, the now discontinued BlackBerry PlayBook, was a spectacular failure; partly a result of BlackBerry’s decision to not include a native email client on the initial software build, among other things.
With the PlayBook still fresh in everyone’s minds, it would make sense for BlackBerry to distance itself from the tablet market, but to say that such a successful market segment will disappear in just five years is reaching.