According to BlackBerry’s CEO, Thorsten Heins, tablets will lose their market dominance in 5 years, to be replaced by, presumably, smartphones like the BlackBerry, and larger monitors. Assuming he is referring to the business space, it’s hard to decide whether his prediction is some parts sour grapes – BlackBerry’s own tablet, the Playbook, was a market failure and nearly bankrupted the company – and some parts wishful, magical thinking to self-fulfill their own business goals, which is to supplant tablets (dominated by the iPad and to a lesser extent Android) with their devices. As is usually the case with controversial predictions, Heins’ prognostications have roots in fact. Apple’s profits have been declining, as has its margins on the iPad, giving analysts cause to speculate on the longevity of the platform.
What this means for you:
Unless you are about to make a substantial investment in bringing tablets into your business processes (and even if you are), Heins’ predictions are likely to have little impact on you. BlackBerry wants to be considered a competitor in the mobile device space, and as they can’t compete on the tablet level, the traditional business tactic one can take in this situation is to attempt to invalidate the competition’s strategy by influencing the market. “Tablet’s will be dead in five years. Everyone will be using BlackBerries,” makes for good headlines, but any student of technology history will tell you that smarter technology leaders and innovators got more wrong than right when attempting to predict the future.