In recent years, BlackBerry has had a rough time recovering the major success it once experienced in the mobile market, but it hasn't been afraid to try new things and see what sticks. Take the PlayBook, for example, the company's first tablet, released at a time when the market seemed to be exploding with them. Unfortunately for the company, its take on the tablet didn't fare too well, and many would call it an outright flop. Eventually, the company held a fire sale to get rid of all remaining stock.
It's a bit ironic, then, that BlackBerry's current CEO, Thorsten Heins, has totally discredited tablets in a recent Bloomberg interview. He states, in rather clear wording, "In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore". He goes on to state that it might be common to have a large touchscreen in your workspace, but as for a portable tablet, they're just not going to be a "good business model".
If BlackBerry releases a successor to the PlayBook in the future, these words are likely to taint the launch a little bit. If the company's CEO doesn't have confident in such products, why should consumers? They'll instead go to a vendor that does see a future with the devices.
Interestingly, Heins didn't go into any detail about why he feels this way. It could be that he feels smartphones are fine enough, but that doesn't remedy the fact that most people would prefer a larger screen when given the option. While a 7-inch "phablet" might be suitable for some, some would like them even larger - and I think we could all agree that a 10-inch smartphone would be bordering on extreme.
Until I purchased my first tablet, I didn't hold much confidence in their future either, but after having used one, I became addicted, and began to understand just how useful they can be. I don't use my tablets for gaming, but rather everything else - reading, Web-surfing - heck, a calculator, and so forth. They're extremely convenient for those uses, and I don't need to squint to read what's on the screen. I think I feel the opposite way Heins does - I do see a future for tablets.
What do you guys think?