Thorsten Heins unveils the BlackBerry 10 mobile platform and two new devices in New York City, Jan. 30, 2013.

BlackBerry's CEO Predicts End of Tablet Craze Within 5 Years

Most statistics point in the other direction.

Thorsten Heins unveils the BlackBerry 10 mobile platform and two new devices in New York City, Jan. 30, 2013.
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BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins predicted the doom of tablet devices within five years in an interview published Tuesday by Bloomberg. "Tablets themselves are not a good business model," Heins said.

"In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," Heins told Bloomberg. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such."

In the same period of time, Heins said, "I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat."

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BlackBerry dominated the smartphone market in the early 2000s, but was later outpaced by Apple's iPhone and Google-powered Android phones. Like other major tech brands, BlackBerry introduced a tablet device, the BlackBerry PlayBook, in 2011. The tablet wasn't a success. In the third quarter of 2012 BlackBerry shipped 150,000 of the tablets, according to Bloomberg. By comparison, Apple sold 22.9 million iPads - out of 52.5 million total tablet sales - during the fourth quarter of 2012, according to CNET.

Data crunched by Adobe casts doubt on Heins's prediction. In March Adobe reported that tablet-driven Internet traffic surpassed online traffic from smartphones. Of 100 bil­lion page vis­its used to calculate the Adobe Dig­i­tal Index, 8 percent was from tablets and 7 percent from smartphones.

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In addition to strong tablet sales and growing traffic from the devices, in January 2012 Adobe calculated that purchases made on tablets were on average for 54 percent more money than smart­phone purchases.

A February 2012 study by Nielsen found tablet ads have higher ad click-through rates than smartphones. Of tablet owners, 24 percent willingly clicked on an ad to learn more about a product, compared with 11 percent of smartphone users, Nielsen found. Tablets users were also more likely to purchase items and use or request coupons, according to the report.

A report released last week by market research company eMarketer predicted that more than 50 percent of "mobile commerce" sales in 2013 would be made with tablets, and just 35 percent with smartphones. By 2017, eMarketer forecasted that tablets' share of sales would rise to over 70 percent, while smartphone sales would dip under 30 percent.

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