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Tech Blackberry CEO: "In Five Years There'll Be No Reason to Own a Tablet"

Blackberry CEO: "In Five Years There'll Be No Reason to Own a Tablet"

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First Posted: May 01, 2013 12:16 AM EDT
Blackberry CEO, Thorsten Heins, predicts the end of tablet era in 5 years time. (Photo : REUTERS)

Blackberry CEO, Thorsten Heins, said Sunday that tablets life span will expire in 5 years time.

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Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg at the Milken Institute in Los Angeles, the German Canadian businessman called tablets a bad business model.

“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

Blackberry, which has been riding a sort of a ‘comeback wave’ with its latest release, the new Q10 phone, had a not so happy brush with the tablet business. Its PlayBook, launched in 2011, was literally dead on the arrival, doomed for debuting without built-in e-mail – critics called it “half-backed.”

That year the Canadian mobile giant swallowed a $485 million charge to write down unsold inventory after shipping as few as 150,000 PlayBooks in the third quarter of 2012.
Q10, Blackberry most recent attempt to get back on its feet, was launched over the weekend in the UK. It sports a physical keyboard.

“We have very, very good first signs already after the launch in the U.K.,” the executive said. “This is going into the installed base of more than 70 million BlackBerry users, so we have quite some expectations. We expect several tens of million of units.”

In January, Heins stated he’ll only consider a PlayBook successor if it can be profitable. Not only that, he added yesterday, a BlackBerry tablet has to offer a unique proposition in a crowded market.

“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 shares were up 4.4 percent to $16.29 at the closing bell in New York.

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