The tablet industry is booming. IDC recently found that 128 million tablets were shipped in 2012 alone as shipments jumped 78.4 percent. Yet, despite the success of the iPad and several other devices, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins has gone on the record to proclaim that tablets will be dead by 2018.
“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins told Bloomberg. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.” Amazon might disagree. The company breaks even on the hardware but actually makes a profit off of the Kindle Fire once consumers enter its ecosystem and begin buying books, music, movies and other content. Similarly, Apple is so pleased with sales of its iPad that it isn’t concerned about it cannibalizing sales of its MacBook family.
Worse, Heins’ description of a big screen in the workplace calls back memories of the dying PC industry. In fact, it seems most industries are gravitating away from having a static workstation and are equipping employees with tablets to work more in the field.
Heins said he believes BlackBerry will be a leader in the mobile industry in five years. Ignoring a booming industry probably isn’t the best way to achieve that goal, however. At least we know it’s probably rather unlikely BlackBerry has a PlayBook successor coming anytime soon.