BlackBerry CEO: Tablets will be dead in five years

BlackBerry PlayBook

BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins predicts the popularity of tablets will peter out over the next five years.

Heins made the comments during an interview at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles yesterday, where he is reported to have said: "In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore.

"Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets are not a good business model," he added.

His statement casts further doubt on the prospect of a new Playbook tablet from BlackBerry being released any time soon.

Tablets are not a good business model.

The business-focused BlackBerry tablet was released in the UK in 2011 and ran an early version of the BlackBerry 10 operating system known as QNX.

The product garnered mixed response at launch, with IT Pro predicting in a 2011 review that the device would have limited appeal outside of the BlackBerry-owning business community.

This was largely reflected in the lacklustre sales of the tablet, which prompted BlackBerry to cut the price of the Playbook to drive up sales of the device.

In the past, Heins has played down the notion of a successor to the device being released, claiming the move would only be considered if profitability could be guaranteed.

In yesterday's interview, he followed up this assertion by saying his firm wants to lead the mobile devices market, but on the company's own terms.

"In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing that's what we're aiming for," he added.

"I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being copycat."

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.