If BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins is correct, tablets will be obsolete in just five years. He made that bold statement at the Milken Institute Conference in Los Angeles yesterday, and as Bloomberg reports, he explained, “In five years, I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”
Heins made another bold prediction at the conference that is likely to surprise you based on his company’s performance in recent years. He said, “In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing — that’s what we’re aiming for. I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat.”
Heins is optimistic about the future of his company as it launches its new Q10 smartphone complete with a full keyboard for “crazy multi-taskers” and “highly-connected people.” You can see Heins talk about the Q10 in the Bloomberg video below.
Priced at $50 more than an iPhone, it remains to be seen if BlackBerry can carve a chunk of market share out of the smartphone market. According to the most recent statistics from comScore, the top smartphone platforms in the United States in February 2013 were:
- Google = 51.7%
- Apple = 38.9%
- BlackBerry = 5.4%
- Microsoft = 3.2%
- Symbian = 0.5%
If forecasts from Gartner are accurate, BlackBerry’s chances don’t look good. Gartner predicts that Google and Apple will still dominate the smartphone market in 2017. Furthermore, Gartner doesn’t expect the tablet market to disappear anytime soon either. In fact, Gartner predicts that global tablet sales will more than double in the next four years. You can see this data and more in the April 4, 2013 press release from Gartner.
Of course, the world of technology changes quickly, and the launch of an innovative, industry-changing product could turn these predictions upside-down. If BlackBerry released an amazing new product, the market share percentages shown above could change very quickly. Surely consumers would welcome better products and more competition.
What do you think? Can BlackBerry make a comeback? Is Heins right about the future of tablets? Share your thoughts in the comments below.