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Thorsten Heins: Tablets will be dead in 5 years

During an interview at the Milken Institute, Blackberry CEO Thorsten Heins expressed his thoughts about how the mobile computing scene will be like in five-year’s time, and this is what he has to say, “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore.”


Now some of you may think that Mr. Heins just got up on the wrong side of the bed during the day of this interview, but those who are keeping tabs on BlackBerry would know that tablet isn’t exactly a part of the company’s pressing agenda.

We really can’t blame him for thinking this way, especially considering the poor outing they got from their first (and likely the last) shot at the tablet market, the BlackBerry PlayBook. But it’s not like he hates tablets or anything; in fact, he’s not entirely closing his doors for future PlayBook successor. But he emphasized that the company will only release another tablet if it sees its potential to be profitable.

“Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.” –Thorsten Heins.

Five years is a long time, and judging from the pace that technology is in, we’re pretty sure that a new technology will make his vision of “one mobile computing device to rule them all” a reality. But this begs the question, do you agree with his “tablet obsolescence in five years” prediction? Hit the comments field and let us know.


This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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32 Responses

  1. Well, what can you expect from the CEO of BlackBerry after the failed PlayBook? :D

  2. potato says:

    Bb OS is shit, overpriced, not worth it

  3. ryan says:

    In 5 years time. Blackberry will be dead too. :p

  4. I totally agree.

    In 2018, Smart phones will be the “guts” of what used to be a computer in 2012. We will plug our smart phones into a video, speaker, keyboard, and external port “docking station” (hopefully standardized) when we are home. We will then be able to do what a 2Ghz 4MB 500GB computer does today.

    This applies to the “home computing” consumer only. The business sector will always have a need for bigger and faster “machines” to do more intense computing.

    I consider myself a “power-user”. I can predict that when my new Laptop runs its course in three years, I see myself purchasing the top of the line smart phone in 2016 to handle all of my computing.

    • Hell No says:

      Hell no, why? Your talking about the tech the smart phone may obtain in the future, but so does the tech of desktop computers, look they told that laptops will be more like a desktop computer in termz of power, in some cases it may be true but go find and assemble the most tech advance laptop and compare it to the desktop computer that you also bought and assembled with the top of the line spec and you will see that the laptop is waaaay behind the benchmarks, same as smartphones they can never be better than the big ones that can be customized and upgraded, oh wait you can also use a mouse and keyboard in a smartphone that has HDMI so yeah, its not that high,

    • Of Course says:

      Though it is true that desktops will always be a step ahead in terms of prowess than a laptop and the smartphone. plus the fact that it is quite cheaper than it’s more mobile counterparts

      We should also consider that most people are not doing extensive computing to require a very strong computer. thus if a smartphone can be connected to peripherals and make it work like a PC, with enough processing power and memory. then you really might not need a desktop after all.

  5. Fleeb says:

    He is talking about the workplace. If he means workstation, I do not think tablets will replace them anytime soon. The tablets will always be there for consumers though.

  6. Ayun says:

    Kasisimula pa lang, pinatay na haha. They said PC is dying, tapos tablet naman, e anung kapalit?

  7. OneMac says:

    Mr. Heins’ prediction is as lame as his company’s products! A one mobile devise to rule them all is the key to the future.

    • zarne says:

      And who is to say that Mr. H. Thorsten’ statement is true or false? With evolving new technologies, nobody knows what is going to happen in 5 years. I thinks he shares your prediction about a “devise that will rule them all”, and that devise could be the Smartphone. I do not see the tablet replacing PC or smartphone. BTW, did you see those people who are taking pictures with their 10″ tablet, it’s hilarious!

  8. echo says:

    Tell that to samsung and apple

  9. XTN says:

    Actually I am expecting very nice updates from tablets 5 years from now.

    Ever heard of Nvidia Tegra’s plans to overpower even the ps3 and xbox 360 in a very mobile form factor?

  10. true says:

    well, as of now tablets are useless :D i use my phone more frequently than my ipad

  11. joshaquin0 says:

    why do apple and android users feels it is always their responsibility to make stupid and unintelligent comments everytime:

    a. their platform is under attack
    b. a new product is featured
    c. everytime

    the last time i really enjoyed reading the comments section of yugatech is early this year related to BB10’s launch and the Z10. thos are really interesting, factual and intelligent discussions. hindi puro pataasan ng ihi at buthurt. magsiayos nga kayo.

    • ha says:

      What make’s you different from Android and Apple fanatics when you yourself is a BB fanatic? Hindi ba nakikipagpataasan ka rin ng ihi, except that you sayo ay supot?

  12. pons says:

    wow… speaking from someone who did not foresee his products’ own death.

    • zarne says:

      With due respect to Mr. Thorsten, he was not at the helm when Blackberry (RIM) went to the dogs and stood at the sidelines for years. He implemented the new Blackberry OS with the new BB phones, Z10 and BB10. Read the consumer reviews about these new phones, you may be surprised.

  13. Freeje says:

    In less than a year’s time he will be out of a job! Good luck BB don’t get RIMmed!

  14. John the Great says:

    Nothimg can ever overpower the desktop computers, they don’t have the mobility of portable gadgets including laptops, but in terms of power and customizations? The desktop PC is the overlord,

  15. donclark says:

    every device has its own purpose..would you give a gun to a carpenter and give a wrench to a soldier…uniqueness of consumers makes the industry of gadget tech unpredictable…

  16. pines says:

    maybe true.. if nakita nyo yung asus concept video, about there concept gadget na relo na pwedeng gawing projector, stretch mo lng para gawing phone then stretch para maging tab then another stretch para maging supersized screen na computing device… maybe the future phones will be a hologram or projector type or even a wearable computing device..

  17. fotolocco says:

    Coming from the BlackBerry CEO, seriously?

  18. Gardo Gwapo says:

    Maybe what his saying is true, let’s face it the tablets right now is reaching its limits, I mean limitition by hardware specs, battery power,
    apps and os. so he thinks 5 years from now a new gadget will come and make tablets obsolete. its sad but as long as its more awesome, why not…
    think about it when the first PlayStation or iPhone arrived. see what i mean?

  19. CoolerThanCool says:

    In my opinion tablet wont die, it will just change, innovate, upgrade or modernized software, design (foldable or rolled display),., it is in stage of on going innovation, it will forever be,., it was originally created to put a library of books to a thin piece of metal technology, and it succeeded, and now from what ive learn of new innovations of foldable and rolled display, i think it perfectly suits to be applied on tablets or phablets,..

  20. Greg says:

    It’s a vision of the future and only those who have laid future development plans can make such bold claims. We can only tell whether Mr. Heins’s statement ““In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore.” will come true. Take note, he never said that “tablets will be dead in 5 years”. The author of this article was the one who said it.

  21. Michael says:

    Maybe he is predicting Google Glass would be popular after 5 years from now

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