Company that sells few tablets criticises tablets
BlackBerry CEO Thorstein Heins has claimed tablets will become obsolete within five years time, saying they are “not a good business model”.
In an interview with Bloomberg, he said there just would not be a good reason to have such a device, although there might be a place for big screens in the workplace, but not tablets in their current form.
Heins added that the company might not release a follow-up to its less-than-successful BlackBerry Playbook tablet, which was released in 2011, unless it was convinced any successor would be profitable.
Thorsten Heins strategy
The BlackBerry Playbook was widely criticised for not including a built-in email application at launch, especially considering the company’s reputation for messaging, and lacklustre sales resulted in price cuts. However, the Canadian manufacturer has continued to support the tablet, adding missing functionality, including email, and releasing a 4G model last summer.
BlackBerry might also be dissuaded from releasing another tablet by the fact that competition in the smaller tablet market has intensified since the original PlayBook debuted in April 2011, with Apple, Amazon and Google all offering devices of eight inches or smaller.
Despite the apparent lack of BlackBerry tablet strategy, Heins said he wanted the company to be the leader in mobile computing within the next five years, although it would not sacrifice originality for the sake of market share.
BlackBerry 10 hopes
The company released the QWERTY-keyboard based BlackBerry Q10 last week, and Heins said he was optimistic about the smartphone’s prospects after stocks at Selfridges and the Carphone Warehouse sold quickly.
It is hoped the Q10 will encourage BlackBerry users unimpressed by the touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 to upgrade by offering them a physical keyboard.
BlackBerry 10 is seen as vital to the company’s chances of a revival after its share of the smartphone market has been eroded by rivals such as Apple and Samsung. BlackBerry hopes the platform will appeal to both consumers and the enterprise, bridging the divide between business and pleasure.
Both the Q10 and Z10 have been well-received by critics, although BlackBerry shares have not recovered as much as it had been hoped, despite sales of the Z10 falling in line with expectations.
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