BlackBerry CEO Heins: ‘No need for a tablet in five years’

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Manufacturer’s boss questions the future of the devices, raising doubt over its strategy in that tablet market

BlackBerry president and CEO Thorsten Heins has said the popularity of tablets may decline, claiming there will be no use for one in five years time.

The comments raise doubt over whether the manufacturer will release a follow-up to its own PlayBook tablet.

Heins was speaking at the Milken Institute Conference in Los Angeles, claiming that tablets are not a good business model.

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

In January, he said a PlayBook successor would only be considered it it can be profitable, but said in the interview he will not resort to copying its rivals in doing so.

“In five years, I see BlackBerry to be an absolute leader in mobile computing – that’s what we’re aiming for. I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat.”

The PlayBook was released in June 2011 but in December of that year the manufacturer announced that for the three months to November 26, 2011, it had taken a £230 million charge on unsold PlayBooks.

The following month, retailers began reducing the prices of the various models. Carphone Warehouse reduced the 16GB model from £399 to £169, the 32GB version from £479 to £199 and the 64GB variant from £559 to £329. Amazon cut the prices of the 1^GB model to £197 and the 32GB model to £339.

In its most recent financial results for the three months to March 2, BlackBerry said it had sold 370,000 PlayBooks.

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