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Blackberry Portables

BlackBerry CEO: Tablet Market Is Dying 564

Posted by Soulskill
from the wishful-thinking dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins believes that tablets will be dead by 2018. 'In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,' he told an interviewer at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles, according to Bloomberg. 'Maybe a big screen in your workplace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.' That may come as a surprise to Apple, Google, Amazon and Samsung, all of which have built significant tablet businesses over the past few years. Research firm Strategy Analytics suggested in a research note earlier this month that the global tablet market hit 40.6 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2013, a significant rise from the 18.7 million shipped in the same quarter last year. So why would Heins offer such a pessimistic prediction when everyone else — from the research firms to the tablet-makers themselves — seems so full-speed-ahead? It's easy to forget sometimes that BlackBerry has its own tablet in the mix: the PlayBook, which was released to quite a bit of fanfare in early 2011 but failed to earn iPad-caliber sales. Despite that usefulness to developers, however, the PlayBook has become a weak contender in the actual tablet market. If Heins is predicting that market's eventual demise, it could be a coded signal that he intends to pull BlackBerry out of the tablet game, focusing instead on smartphones. It wouldn't be the first radical move the company's made in the past year."
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BlackBerry CEO: Tablet Market Is Dying

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  • I agree (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747)
    I agree completely. Tablets are a fad. The form factor is terrible and the functionality is lacking. I think that most people are going to continue using phones and laptops.
    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:34PM (#43593777)

      Who wants an automobile? The form factor is terrible; the tiny wheels can hardly get through a foot of mud or ford a stream. You have to fill it up with "gas" constantly, instead of simply letting the horses wander around in your pasture.

      No, there's simply no future in the automobile, once people try them out and find how limiting they really are.

      • Re:I agree (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Tmann72 (2473512) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:46PM (#43593947)
        This isn't even remotely the same and you damn well know it. Horse drawn buggies existed for a very long time before cars and cars were seen as a natural progression of that mode of transportation. The fact we measure engines in horse-power to this day is a testament to that fact. Tablets could be seen as the next phase of computers, but the fact remains they are not as useful for many purposes as real computers are. Whereas with your car example a car completely and thoroughly replaced all functions of a horse drawn carriage in its entirety.
        • Not in it's entirety! A car will not mow your lawn for you but a horse will :P
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I think the argument is that a smartphone will one day be able to replace the tablet. Why do I need both a smart phone and a tablet when my smart phone already does everything my tablet does and more. I should just keep the smartphone instead.

          But I think there is an important difference. Size. People like tables for some uses because they have a bigger screen than phones yet phones are useful for other purposes because they're smaller and more portable. But then again it might be possible to plug your phone

          • by JayAEU (33022)

            That's exactly why products like a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or and Asus Padfone exist. They cater to the all in one approach many customers actually like.

      • by synapse7 (1075571)
        Probably also had better insurance rates.
      • Re:I agree (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:59PM (#43594085) Homepage

        Who wants an automobile? The form factor is terrible; the tiny wheels can hardly get through a foot of mud or ford a stream. You have to fill it up with "gas" constantly, instead of simply letting the horses wander around in your pasture.

        No, there's simply no future in the automobile, once people try them out and find how limiting they really are.

        I heard something extremely similar in a discussion recently about the Tesla Model S, and it was in all seriousness. "foot of mud" and "ford a stream" was replaced with "drive a 1500 mile road trip" and "pull a trailer", replace "gas" with "charging". There was totally no way they could possibly have a future once people found out how limiting they really are. You can people said what you just wrote in full seriousness back in the day.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          Except that chargers are not all over the place, and I'm sure there are plenty of places where you can go 1500 miles without having the opportunity to charge. What's more, even if you do have a charger available, due to the lengthy time it takes to charge, you might not have the luxury of plugging it in.

          It's less of an issue for gasoline and diesel cars because of the ubiquitous gas stations and the short period of time it takes to refill the gas tank.

          I'm sure that in the long run it will be solved, they so

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        Ug no like horses. Ug walk. Ug think horses only good for meat.

      • Re:I agree (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bacon Bits (926911) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:50PM (#43594705)

        The tablet isn't "automobile vs horse". Neither smartphones nor laptops could be considered "horses" and those are what bookend the tablet market.

        The basic issue is that people want something small and easy to carry with a lot of on-the-go features like telephone, texting, and GPS like a smartphone. However, they also want something they can sit down and compose documents or browse the web on for long periods of time. They also want something that can replace a book, an MP3 player, and a television. This is all possible because all of these tasks involve using the Internet in today's world (with true 4G LTE cellular networks become a true IP-based network that is connected to and routable by the Internet), and tablets take advantage of this.

        Tablets, like netbooks before them, are an attempt to merge semi-portable laptop computers and semi-multipurpose smartphones into a single superdevice. I would continue to argue that tablets are still shitty devices, however. They're only slightly less shitty than netbooks, and that's why they're doing well. Apple may have understood that tablets are shitty smartphone-laptops, however, and instead positioned the iPad as a third device primarily for media consumption (music/movies/limited games/books/web/web-like apps) which is really all the device does well. This has turned out to be a new market, which is why the segment has seen such explosive growth. One of the mistake market analysts make is that they think tablets replace laptops or smartphones, when, in reality, they merely provide feature subsets of both. Certainly, some users will find they no longer need a laptop with a tablet, but I don't think this is that significant.

        The other mistake is that the market analysts have forgotten the difference between developing and developed markets. Established markets like laptop computers and cellphones (smartphones are overtaking and replacing regular phones, rather than being an emerging market) have shown stagnant growth because they're developed and saturated markets. The majority of sales are for replacement devices rather than new owners. Tablets, OTOH, represent an emerging market, with many people purchasing their first tablet. It's difficult to speculate how long it will take for the tablet market to saturate, but it's clear that what was once thought to be just a segment of the computer market is instead a completely different market altogether.

        What may happen is that families that currently own multiple laptops will instead own a single laptop and multiple tablets instead. I could see that, particularly if tablets stop being so strictly linked to a single person as if they're a smartphone or internal organ.

        Let's say this is how things are now. Assume a family of two adults and two or more children:
        Each adult owns a single-user smartphone.
        Children share one to two plain cellphones (or hand-me-down smartphones).
        Each adult owns one single-user laptop.
        Each family owns one multi-user desktop.
        Each family owns one large screen TV, and two or more modest screen TVs.

        Here's what I can see happening in the future:
        Each adult will own a single-user smartphone.
        Each child will own a cheap single-user smartphone.
        Each family will have one multi-user laptop.
        Each family will have one or two large screen displays (either TVs or computers primarily for video capabilities).
        Each family will have two or three multi-user tablets.

        See how the tablets provide coverage between televisions and laptops?

        Personally, I think it's equally as likely that this happens:
        Each adult will own a single-user smartphone.
        Each child will own a cheap single-user smartphone.
        Each family will have two or more multi-user or single-user laptops.
        Each family will have one or two large screen displays (either TVs or computers primarily for video capabilities).
        Each family will have one multi-user tablet.

        That's more expensive, but also far more useful for many people.

        Perhap

    • by synapse7 (1075571)
      However inconvenient they may be for certain uses, they are still convenient to carry around and are "popular". What would replace tablets? phones with large screens, essentially a tablet. I don't agree. Even if he can't catch the gravy train, RIM is missing out on market penetration with the BBOS or whatever it is now.

      However, I wish Microsoft thought this way and produced separate tablet and desktop operation systems.
    • Re:I agree (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Teckla (630646) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:40PM (#43593869)

      I agree completely. Tablets are a fad. The form factor is terrible and the functionality is lacking. I think that most people are going to continue using phones and laptops.

      Laptops are bulky and heavy. Netbooks offer a terrible user experience (mostly thanks to Microsoft forcing lousy specs on vendors as a prerequisite for Windows Starter licensing).

      I've taken my iPad with me on my last few business trips. It was light and with a big enough display for comfortable use without being too big (or too small like smartphone displays). (Although I'm not happy Apple has already abandoned updates on my not-even-3-years-old iPad 1 -- might have to consider an Android tablet next time.)

      Not sure where the market will go, but tablets aren't a fad for me, they're just the best compromise of all the alternatives (when traveling, at least).

      • Re: I agree (Score:2, Insightful)

        by tysonedwards (969693)
        I've got news for you... Most Android manufacturers stop providing updates the day their devices hit the market. If your sole concern is that yoy want a tablet that is going to have updates for years to come, there are a variety of Windows slates on the market.
        • My Nexus 7 flashed up an update to the operating system about ten minutes after I bought it. My wife's Kobo Arc has had two system updates since Christmas.

        • by Teckla (630646)

          I've got news for you... Most Android manufacturers stop providing updates the day their devices hit the market. If your sole concern is that yoy want a tablet that is going to have updates for years to come, there are a variety of Windows slates on the market.

          I've gotten burned by Microsoft enough times over the years (decades, actually) that I fundamentally don't trust them anymore.

          That being said, next time I'll be more careful to research devices where I can reasonably expect they'll get updates for at least 5+ years.

          • by mattack2 (1165421)

            Which, as has already been pointed out, does NOT include most (any?) Android devices.

            BTW, I agree with your main point.

          • by symbolset (646467) *

            Updates for legacy Android devices are handled by the Cyanogen team, and others in the modding community. It's a nuisance, but less of a nuisance than installing Windows upgrades. Here is your list of supported devices [cyanogenmod.org].

            BTW: Android for tablets is barely over two years old. The pace of change in tablet devices is so swift that you're unlikely to be able to run any device longer than that before it's hopelessly obsolete. The first few tablets were pretty bad. The top end this year will have 8-core 64bit

        • by Psyborgue (699890)
          Like the Windows 7 phones that will never get 8? Compare that to an iPhone or a Nexus device. You're right that a lot of android phone manufacturers suck at releasing updates, but iPads and Nexus devices do get updates for years. There is really no guarantee that will be the case with Windows RT, or even the 8 tablets (at least not officially).
    • by prelelat (201821)

      I think that's hard to say for sure. Phones are getting bigger and bigger and you can get some now that I would classify as a tablet anyways. So if that's what your suggesting then yes the tablets now are going to go away. I highly doubt it though. They aren't usually good for work devices but as technology in them keeps improving they are turning out some really awesome features. The note 10.1(I currently own), surface, lenovo, and a few others have wacom tech in them. While it's not as nice to use a

      • by mattack2 (1165421)

        I think that's hard to say for sure. Phones are getting bigger and bigger and you can get some now that I would classify as a tablet anyways.

        AKA "phablet". Yes, it's dumb, but it's widespread.

    • Re:I agree (Score:4, Interesting)

      by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:45PM (#43593941) Homepage

      I agree completely. Tablets are a fad. The form factor is terrible and the functionality is lacking.

      Well, that's an valid opinion, but I don't agree with you.

      My tablet isn't used for work, so the form factor is actually quite nice for what I use it for (surf the web, movies, email when I travel). And the functionality is exactly what I want out of it.

      There's just some stuff I have no interest in doing on my phone. I like the bigger size of the fondle-slab. My phone is too small to watch a movie or read a book.

      I expect you and Mr. Heins will be proven wrong over time. BlackBerry's tablet was crap, but that doesn't mean people who own tablets don't like them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by neverwhere9 (2597405)
      I have a 7" tablet and I disagree. I don't have to pay monthly for a phone because I can use Text+, it's smaller and more portable than a laptop, and the screen is the perfect size for eReading. I mostly watch youtube videos on mine because the screen is better than my laptop (yes I have a ~$250 youtube machine), but I know students who love them for school and artists who use them to draw. It all depends on what you want to do with it. If you want to code or write a novel, then the laptop is obviously the
    • Tablets obviate laptops for all but those who genuinely need a mobile work environment; e.g. students, work-at-home folk, etc. Plus, tablets do "mobile" better than a laptop. Try traveling on vacation with a laptop as compared to a tablet or looking up that actor from that thing while sitting on your couch, or reading a recipe you found online with a laptop. I've got a laptop as well as a tablet, but I will RARELY if ever move mine now that I have the tablet.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      I'm not so sure about that. I could see something like the Asus Transformer becoming the standard in a few years.

      The main problem that Tablets have, IMHO, is that they are an awkward compromise that nobody has really figured out how to make work. Without a keyboard, the input tasks for text take forever compared with touch typing, and you have to give up a portion of the screen in order to have the onscreen keyboard. Because they need to be so small, you have to give up processing power and the ability to r

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        I do like the basic idea behind the Transformer, and I think that's going to be much more common in the future as it seems to be a pretty good compromise that actually has real world utility.

        I have a Transformer, and while it seems like a good compromise, the end result is that it's both a poor tablet (e.g. too big and heavy to hold comfortably) and a poor netbook (e.g. horrible unbalanced due to having the heavy components behind the screen).

    • by ethanms (319039)

      The form factor is perfect for:
      - Reading books/blocks of text/PDFs
      - Watching media
      - Calendar/Scheduling
      - Mail Reading (and light replying)
      - Light web browsing
      - Puzzle/Word games

      All of the above can be done on phones or laptops, but the 7-10" screen is pretty much the sweet spot for reading and watching media alone (or for two). It will hold it's place, but I think the market for higher priced versions will decline. I had no problem dropping $200 on a Nexus 7, but when I see $500-700 for an iPad I start to

  • by Virtucon (127420) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:32PM (#43593743)

    World to Blackberry: In five years there'll be no reason to own a Blackberry.

  • by redemtionboy (890616) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:32PM (#43593749)

    I might be able to take their word seriously if they didn't paint the blackberry playbook in a positive light at all. After running one of the worst launches in history, no wonder that thing fell flat on it's face. My favorite review said something along the lines of "It's like paying $200 to see Bruce Springsteen and having to settle for a homeless guy in the subway air guitaring it"

  • by mkraft (200694) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:33PM (#43593761)

    BlackBerry seems incapable of judging where there market is going. That's why they were blindsided when the iPhone came out. They still had a chance to adapt, but they pretty much pretended like the iPhone didn't exist. Even after Android came out they had their heads in the sand. By the time they finally woke up, it was too late.

    • by Psyborgue (699890)
      They didn't want to alienate the people who loved their devices because they had full physical keyboards. They tried a full touchscreen device with the Storm and Storm II, but it failed miserably. The touch screens [wikipedia.org] were horrible, buggy, and their attempts to provide tactile feedback were not very well done (you had to not only touch a key, but also apply pressure, which made it awkward). The Torch was a nice device, with a decent touchscreen and a full slide out keyboard, but it was, as you note, way lat
  • Hahahaha! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:33PM (#43593763) Journal

    From the company bleeding money for the last three years because it has absolutely no idea what customers want, comes the grand declaration "Customers won't want tablets."

    Maybe if Blackberry had released a tablet that had full access to the Android market, they might have sold some. My daughter got a playbook from her boyfriend's parents a few months ago, and while the hardware is nothing to sneeze at, the fact that you couldn't even install the Netflix app was a revelation to me as to just how clueless RIM/Blackberry really is.

    • by tysonedwards (969693) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:52PM (#43594013)
      Nothing says f-you, future mom-and-dad like a BlackBerry Playbook.
    • by Dzimas (547818)
      You seem a bit confused. Netflix decides what platforms they wish to support and are responsible for writing their own apps. They chose not to support the Playbook because the installed user base was extremely small compared to the Android and iOS ecosystems, not because RIM was "clueless." I suppose RIM could have paid a number of key developers (Instagram, Netflix, Skype) to release apps for the platform, but that sets a dangerous precedent and probably wouldn't have helped the product's sales. It's inter
    • Re:Hahahaha! (Score:4, Informative)

      by narcc (412956) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:50PM (#43594707) Journal

      From the company bleeding money for the last three years

      You may want to check your facts. You couldn't possibly be more wrong.

  • Three words... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by alanshot (541117) <[rurick] [at] [techondemand.net]> on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:33PM (#43593771)

    Screen Real Estate.

    There is some stuff you Just. Cant Do. On a phone. The screen is too small.

    IF his idea that phones will be a little bigger, do we really want to look like an idiot walking around with a giant brick to our head? Or have to wory about always using a bluetooth earpiece? And where will you stick that larger than you prefer phone?

    IMHO an iPhone 5 is starting to get a little too big. The larger samsungs are even worse.

    • Amen! I've actually been thinking of, at the end of my contract of course, ditching my iPhone for a "burner" and then getting an iPad for the screen real estate. I find it wasteful to have an iPhone and a tablet, but just a tablet with a cheapola phone makes sense.
    • by Tmann72 (2473512)
      1) Some phones are already insanely massive and are basically tablets. Some people don't care about holding a brick to their face. 2) Samsung is outselling the iphone because of those larger screens. Poll after consumer poll constantly pegs screen size as the reason.
    • I suspect his argument is about physical keyboards rather than size. Maybe they have a plan to replace their Playbook with something that has a keyboard.

    • by steveha (103154)

      do we really want to look like an idiot walking around with a giant brick to our head?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRLRjKCGHek [youtube.com]

      P.S. My favorite bit is at the very end of the video.

  • ...Apple CEO Tim Cook believes that RIM will be dead by 2018. 'In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to buy a BlackBerry anymore'.

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      Is there any compelling reason to buy a BlackBerry now?

      They've always been heavily focused on business users who need to view Excel documents on their phone and connect to a corporate Exchange server.

      But for everybody else, there's plenty of other options besides BlackBerry. And my wife's experience with the PlayBook I bought her -- well, that isn't exactly making me think I'd ever buy anything from them again, because it didn't provide the best user experience.

  • by Brucelet (1857158) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:37PM (#43593823)
    Guy who was late to the party says the party was boring anyway.
  • Personal experience (Score:5, Informative)

    by Picass0 (147474) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:48PM (#43593961) Homepage Journal

    I've had several smart phones but recently picked up my first tablet. I do most of my smart phone stuff on the tablet now. I'm now looking at the end of my current cell contract and realizing I'd be better off going to a basic cell.

    I have an Asus Transformer TF700T tablet with a detachable keyboard. I can VNC remote desktop. I can access SMB shares. I can game, surf, and do stuff I never would do on a phone (or Blackberry).

    The thing in my house that's collecting dust? My old dell laptop. If I need to do real work I'm on my desktop. It's been months since I opened the screen on my laptop. I'm going to wipe it and give it to the kids. There's your dying form factor.

    • The detachable keyboard is remarkably handy when you need to ... say, type an e-mail. :)
    • by Solandri (704621) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:02PM (#43594847)
      IMHO it's a bit of a misnomer to try to categorize all these devices according to their form - phone, tablet, notebook, desktop, etc. They're all PCs (personal computers, not IBM compatible PCs), and as such all of them can pretty much perform the same functions. We've already passed the point where the input devices need not be integrated into the PC - you can connect any old bluetooth versions wirelessly. And we rapidly approaching the point where you can decouple the display as well (Intel's WiDi, though not widely used, shows it's technically feasible).

      If you've taken apart a phone or tablet, or even a notebook, you know that the "computer" part of it only occupies a small circuit board. This part is going to continue to get smaller (e.g. Raspberry Pi and MK808). My prediction is in the future, your phone or maybe even your watch will contain the CPU, RAM, and storage. A "tablet" will just be a 7"-12" screen and digitizer which connects wirelessly with your phone. A "laptop" will just be the "tablet" plus a wireless keyboard and mouse.
  • by drunken_boxer777 (985820) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:49PM (#43593969)

    Did he hire Cmdr Taco to perform his market research?

  • by HBBisenieks (2884173) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:49PM (#43593975)
    As someone who works in educational technology, I can say with confidence that tablets are going to be sticking around for well beyond 2018. Take a look at all the schools that have or are starting 1:1 programs, and you'll see that more than half of those programs are using iPads or some other tablet. Look at the OLPC tablets and what's been happening with them. Certainly there's a certain group of people who might not "get" tablets because they're not "traditional" computers, but that does nothing to discount how intuitive they can be, especially to children and the elderly. No, you're not going to be doing extensive command-line work from a tablet, but nobody is suggesting that tablets will entirely overthrow traditional computers. Tablets are an educator's dream. You don't have to teach a child to use a mouse--they just touch what they want. Hell, you hardly have to teach any of the basic functions of a tablet to a child at all; they can figure just about everything out themselves.
  • Despite blackberry's performance lately I tend to agree. I've got a iPad 3rd gen, an android tablet, and a Samsung s3. I use the s3 everyday for all the same tasks I would have used tablets for. I'm not even sure the other two tablets are charged right now. When I do real computing I use my laptop.
  • Fun to say and fun to type! On the other hand, I'm not sure how two people could share (view, point, manipulate) the same image with google goggles.
  • by skine (1524819) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:57PM (#43594069)

    Of course the tablet market isn't dying. It could possibly be described as a bubble at the moment, but that doesn't mean that that sales are going to disappear within the next five years.

    The issue is more that tablets are essentially as powerful as they'll need to be for the next five years, if not longer. They're designed to be highly portable devices that can access the internet and be used as ebook readers, but are large enough to be easier to read from than a smartphone. Aside from the people who need to have the new shiny, most people who own or are thinking of buying a tablet will only upgrade when it can no longer handle their needs, much like Windows XP computers.

    • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:15PM (#43594239)

      You've got it nailed.

      Those that have a first gen tablet may upgrade to reduce lag, but everyone thats buying one right now? Its entirely possible they won't need to upgrade except in cases of breaking the existing one for 5+ years. You're going to hit saturation similar to whats happening with desktop and laptop PCs right now, except I believe the total saturation number is much lower than for PCs and we're going to hit that number much sooner because the days of needing to upgrade a tablet every 2-3 years... never existed in the first place.

      • Interesting...

        Now that I think about it, I was making a recommendation to a friend about which iPad to get and I told him that either of the last two models would be fine for his needs, as would the mini. Never occurred to me that this could be a limiting factor on the ultimate size of the annual market once it is close to fully saturated. Phones, at
  • I disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

    by asmkm22 (1902712) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:06PM (#43594139)

    I think tablets are fine for the niche they fill. They make great little consumption devices that are somewhat inexpensive, and handle web content just fine. I have a few sitting around at home that we can just pick up and check email with, or my kid can go watch netflix on the bed, or whatever. They certainly aren't going to be replaces computers for anyone but the most casual of consumers, but they do fill a technology gap very nicely.

    One thing that he hints at, which I agree with, is that tablets aren't going to change too much in the next five years. Overall sales will level off once everyone has one, and I do suspect the wifi-only versions will be the primary sellers after that. Prices will probably settle in the 100-200 dollar range, at most, with plenty of $50 options. They'll basically take the same route that MP3 players took 10 years ago.

  • Translation: Tablets are skyrocketing, just not ours. Maybe if we tell everyone tablets are dying they'll buy ours!
  • tablets (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hypergreatthing (254983) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:13PM (#43594215)

    They were in star trek. They'll be around. Everyone likes phones for communication. Tablets will replace books eventually. Tablets will replace phones even.
    Think about a tablet with a flexible screen. One that you can roll up. Now think about a cell phone type stick device that you can put to your ear. Now think about pulling out a display for when you need to use it's screen. And then when you're done just let it roll back into the device.
    Welcome to the next tablet device.
    Blackberry is completely short sighted.

  • by Robert Frazier (17363) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:14PM (#43594225) Homepage

    I have a couple of cheap tablets with the Allwinner A10 SOC. One is running Ice Cream Sandwich, and one is running Jelly Bean. The Ice Cream Sandwich one could be running Jelly Bean, if it were worth the bother. So, they are reasonably up to date. Use? One is used mostly as a glorified remote control for MPD[1]. But it also lets me know when I have emails (I go to a real computer to deal with the emails) and is used as a clock. The other is used as a clock, and both a MPD remote control and streamer. Very useful they are. I can only afford to use them like this because they are reasonably inexpensive. (I even have an old Nokia N800 in the shed (garage) which I use as a MPD remote control and streamer.)

    They are fine when used in this way, and I think that the touch interface helps to make them ideal MPD remote controls.

    [1] I used to use it for steaming as well, but now have a Raspberry PI with pulseaudio in place of it, so I can have the music in that room in sync with the music in other rooms.

    Best wishes,
    Bob

  • Keep in mind...this assessment is coming from a company that released a tablet...without the ability to use email on it. You couldn't use what is arguably the best feature on the Blackberry...rock solid email integration. I used to think that tablets were going to be a fad too. But I'm seeing more and more of them and at the end of the day, most people are consumers of content not producers. Sure, tablets suck for coding but how many people are coding vs. the general public? A very small percentage I would

  • by erice (13380) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @04:26PM (#43594391) Homepage

    I think he's right. Have you noticed that phones are getting bigger and tablets are getting smaller? I think phones are about to eat tablets in the same way they ate other stand along devices. People don't want two devices. They want one.

    Personally, I hate the idea.

    • I think that's right.
      My kids use the tablets at my house. I use my smartphone/desktop and my wife uses her phone or laptop. The tablet is a convenience, but totally not necessary.
      Phone with data service: almost necessary in today's wired world. Desktop/laptop, this where the large-task computer work is done. Lots of horse power, long lasting battery (laptop) and tonnes of screen real estate.
      Phone: required
      Heavy duty cpu (laptop/desktop): required
      Tablet: convenience.
  • by DdJ (10790) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:25PM (#43595089) Homepage Journal

    ...if something like an upgraded/improved Google Glass takes off in time.

    It's hard to beat the subjective screen size of a thing that draws on your eye.

    If it's got eye tracking and is combined either with peering with other devices that have tolerable input mechanisms (phone? keyboard?) or with something Kinect-like, then sure, physical tablets may become less common.

    I doubt that's what they mean, though.

  • by Revvy (617529) * on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @05:51PM (#43595381) Homepage
    What's the difference between Blackberry and Apple? Well, a Blackberry is a small, bitter fruit.
  • by Rambo Tribble (1273454) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @06:05PM (#43595505)
    ... when reading dies. Or, alternatively, when everyone has bionic, microscopic vision to make out the fine print on small screens.
  • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @09:03PM (#43596823) Journal

    The tablet market is not dying, but I think the device is still looking for a purpose beyond casual consumption of content. I'm desperate to switch from a laptop to a tablet, especially in the field, but the apps for content creation just aren't there yet. Android and iPad devices have the touch paradigm down very well, but the apps oriented towards content creation still aren't much beyond "let's take a picture of Fred and then draw a moustache on him. Hee hee."

    Remember those futurist commercials a few years ago where someone is doing serious design work with just gestures on a surface? That's what's (still) missing.

    For content consumers, tablets are sexy and convenient. For content creators, tablets are still unrealized potential. And I can see where people, frustrated by what they *could* do but still don't, could start to be seeing them as a passing fad.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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