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BlackBerry might finally make another tablet, CEO says

by Jacob Kleinman | March 3, 2015March 3, 2015 1:15 pm PST


Remember the BlackBerry PlayBook? It’s fine if you don’t. The 2011 tablet wasn’t much of a hit, and the company abandoned the then-booming market pretty quickly. Now, BlackBerry CEO John Chen says he may try again with a brand new “iconic” device.

“It’s not in the works, but it’s on my mind,” Chen told CNET in an interview this week, suggesting that the company doesn’t have any immediate plans for a PlayBook follow-up. If BlackBerry does release a new tablet, don’t expect a bland design. “I want it to be different. I want it to be iconic. Bringing a tablet out for a tablet’s sake, it’s not the right thing to do.”

We’re not so sure a new tablet makes sense for BlackBerry. The device would likely target the company’s remaining fan base, which represents less than one percent of the market at this point. Additionally, tablet sales are currently down overall, dropping by 3.2 percent in Q4 2014 compared to the previous year according to an IDC report.

Then again, BlackBerry might have an advantage if it goes after enterprise with a new tablet. The company could offer a larger slate similar to the Surface Pro 3 or Apple’s rumored iPad Pro, along with easy integration to your BlackBerry smartphone.

Of course, just because BlackBerry’s CEO is considering a tablet doesn’t mean it will happen, but we wouldn’t be totally shocked if it did. The Canadian company’s become pretty adventurous since Chen took over, and an updated PlayBook might not be such a bad idea after all.


Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...