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Blackberry Portables

BlackBerry CEO: Tablet Market Is Dying 564

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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  • 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.

  • Re:I agree (Score:3, Informative)

    by neverwhere9 ( 2597405 ) on Tuesday April 30, 2013 @03:50PM (#43593983)
    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 better choice.
  • 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.


  • 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.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault