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Blackberry CEO says tablets will be dead in five years

Hints that we won't be seeing a Playbook 2
Tue Apr 30 2013, 14:40
RIM CEO Thorsten Heins Keynote

CANADIAN PHONE MAKER Blackberry's CEO Thorsten Heins has claimed that no one will be using tablets in five years, suggesting that the firm won't release a successor to its poor selling Playbook tablet.

Speaking at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles on Monday, Heins said in an interview with Bloomberg that by 2018 "I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore". He added, "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model."

Blackberry introduced its Playbook tablet in 2011, but due to a series of problems, such as reported security flaws and the fact that it launched without built in email, the Playbook sold poorly, shipping only about 150,000 units in the third quarter of 2012. Blackberry, then known as Research in Motion, couldn't even give them away.

So perhaps Heins is a little bitter when it comes to tablets. Nevertheless, he hinted that if the firm were to get back into the tablet market, it would only do so if it could offer users something unique over other vendors' tablets.

"In five years, I see Blackberry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing, that's what we're aiming for," Heins added. "I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat."

As well as predicting the death of the tablet, Heins also said that he sees Blackberry's newest physical keyboard smartphone, the Blackberry Q10, selling in the millions.

"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 [to sell] several tens of million of units."

The remarks came the same day as the firm claimed its Blackberry Q10 smartphone is Selfridges' best selling electronics device ever, despite not knowing how many it has sold. The Blackberry Q10 went on sale exclusively at Selfridges on 26 April, before other retailers started selling the device on Monday. µ


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