BlackBerry boss predicts death of the tablet

If you are looking forward to a follow-up to the BlackBerry PlayBook, you might want to revise your expectations in light of new comments from BlackBerry Chief Executive Officer Thorsten Heins.

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

That makes you wonder whether BlackBerry will bother with a tablet on its BlackBerry 10 platform. Its previous tablet was introduced in 2011, but launched without email, BlackBerry's key selling point and was said to have taken a hit of $485 million due to unsold inventory after shipping as few as 150,000 PlayBooks in the third quarter of 2012. You can see why the company isn't flaying the flag for the format.

'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.'

In a separate interview with Bloomberg, Heins said he was optimistic about prospects for BlackBerry’s new Q10 phone, which hit the UK this weekend: 'We have very, very good first signs already after the launch in the UK,'Heins 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.'

If BlackBerry is going to thrive in 2013, the Q10 with its physical keyboard should be the biggest barometer of potential success. It is what BlackBerry does best - and what BlackBerry buyers love. We'll know for sure this time next year.

Source: Bloomberg

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