BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins predicts tablets will be dead in five years

Thorsten Heins speaks at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills (Reuters)As the new BlackBerry Q10 device is being delivered into the hands of the BlackBerry faithful, amongst many asking why anyone still needs a physical keyboard, the company’s CEO is predicting that it’ll only be a few more years before tablets are no more.

During a conversation with Richard Ditizio at the Milken Institute on Monday, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins made a comment that tablets would eventually become less useful as people get more use out of their smartphones. The Washington Post reports Heins as saying that smartphones will become the main source of computing power in the next few years, when people can plug in peripherals like monitors and keyboards directly into their device.

“In five years, I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” Heins said in the interview, Bloomberg reports. “Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

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But some think Heins’ prediction comes from the BlackBerry Playbook not finding much success, even after price drops:

The future of the Playbook with BlackBerry is currently uncertain. Heins said the company was still “committed” to them in mid-2012, but has more recently been saying that their future depends on the success of the BB10 platform with the new Z10 and Q10 phones.

As Canada.com puts it, Heins is certainly putting out an interesting theory as to what the future of mobile computing will be – however if he could have predicted what would take off, BlackBerry probably wouldn’t be in the position they are today, trying to play catch-up to the likes of Apple and Samsung.

Current sales numbers for tablets aren’t supporting Heins’ theory, either. In tablet sales numbers released today by IDC, tablet sales are up 142.4 per cent worldwide during the first quarter of 2013, compared to the same period last year, AFP reports. More tablets shipped in the first quarter of this year than in the entire first half of 2012.

Then again, a lot can change in five years. Just ask Motorola, the third top-selling phone manufacturer of 2008.

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You can watch the whole discussion with Heins here:

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