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"In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore." Those...

"In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore." Those comments from Thorsten Heins have set the tech press abuzz. Many note Heins' remarks, which follow past comments about BlackBerry (BBRY +4.3%) taking a cautious approach to tablets, seem strange given the market's staggering growth. But an explanation appears to lie in March remarks from Heins about BlackBerry pursuing "a mobile-computing experience" that allows users "to carry one computing device." Instead of competing in a hotly contested tablet market, BlackBerry seems to be pushing a vision of (BB10) smartphones paired with PC/tablet docking peripherals. Time will tell if they'll be more successful here than Motorola.
Comments (49)
  • In five years $BBRY shareholders are going to be kicking back and living it up.


    probably much much sooner.


    30 Apr 2013, 04:31 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi - Well said, however, "kicking back and living it up"
    is predicated on how many shares one has and their average cost.
    Could you be a little more specific? I realize that this a relative
    answer but respond for 'middle class living standards'. I am
    most curious then to set a goal X number of shares at what average
    price accumulating in the next 12 months. Let's assume that a couple is reporting as gross income $36 to $40k/year and living in Phoenix,
    Arizona... Vantech


    Note: If not enough information, let me know what you need.
    1 May 2013, 03:15 AM Reply Like
  • BlackBerry Mother Brain. This Metroid will be one to admire.
    30 Apr 2013, 04:32 PM Reply Like
  • The purpose of a tablet is much like the old clipboards. It is easier to carry a tablet into the field unlike a laptop PC. And tablets are large enough to be like a mini-PC. A smartphone will never replace the tablet because it is too small.


    Don't get me wrong. I think (BBRY) will do very well, but the phone will not replace the tablet.
    30 Apr 2013, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • The laptop will. Microsoft is on the right track. With the advances Intel is making in smaller more powerful CPU's you will see paper-thin laptops with paper-thin fold-behind keyboards, foldable, detachable keyboards and slide-out pocket keyboards. They won't even necessarily be "hardware" keyboards, just a touch-glass surface with a projection of a qwerty layout that will slide/fold out. Especially with the new bendable displays which could make it possible even sooner than 5-years.
    30 Apr 2013, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • Schools will eventually go paperless; this transition is already underway in some locations where every student is provided, or expected to buy, a computer. I don't see smartphones as becoming the platform of choice in that segment of the market, so I agree with both of you.
    30 Apr 2013, 06:30 PM Reply Like
  • Y'all are missing Thor's vision- the smartphone/mobile computing device will communicate with smart desks, smart cars, smart homes, smart everything.


    This is the revolution of a QNX-powered future.
    30 Apr 2013, 06:33 PM Reply Like
  • LYogi, that's a consideration, but remember there are cellular-enabled tablets, like the iPad minis.
    30 Apr 2013, 06:36 PM Reply Like
  • ah that is worth considering L Yogi.
    I also think there will be a bit more to be revealed in Mid may.
    Don't forget they have a very close link with the uber nano researchers.
    If it made fiscal sense going forward then the tablet would be on bbry menu.
    However this is a new forward looking bbry not a me too.
    And it isn't as if they didn't produce a tablet.
    right now they are maximizing the best use for their research talent
    WE the public are not able to visualize what this entity will be although L yogi may have some sense.
    I keep thinking of the miniaturization of the radio and then having it encapsulated into a smart0 phone and a computer and a tablet so that you can hear your favourite station,
    bbry has learned its lesson in not clinging to the past but embracing what makes sense on an ever evolving platform.
    Because detractors keep saying well after the b10 q10 what is left for bbry to bring out and the sales may have a brief spike and then its down yada yada yada.
    However the Ceo is saying we are anticipating the future and evolving and we will not remain static.
    What we produce also has to be intelligent in bringing profit and in evolving into the future.
    right now we should be looking at the sales for bbs new product line as it continues to roll out and then there will be something further that has evolved. So that is my take.
    30 Apr 2013, 07:00 PM Reply Like
  • "A smartphone will never replace the tablet because it is too small."


    You are thinking small in my opinion. I don't know if you are aware, but smartphones equipped with miniprojectors already exist. In fact I have in my smartphone drawer a LG product running Windows Mobile Classic from a few years ago (the projection experience is terrible however).


    Further, you should consider the low power requirements of USB powered portable monitors, some of which are touchscreen enabled.


    If the goal is to use the screen to provide a viewing experience to a 3rd party, either version works. I'd further suggest that although phablets are fun, they aren't -smartphone- replacements whereas a smartphone can in a pinch replace a phablet or tablet.


    As a side note, this note by Thorsten Heins is precisely what I have been beating the table for going on several years now since the days of, and even before, the now defunct RedFly product.


    Further I should point out that Motorola's efforts in the space failed as it bowed to external pressure and neutered its offering. I highly suspect, however, the Motorola Atrix with desktop class Mozilla was part of what led to the FirefoxOS initiative which is now producing phones (see: Geeksphone - but all sold out for a while now), and Ubuntu-on-Android, and Ubuntu-on-Android is likely what led to Ubuntu mobile-izing their OS...


    Another interesting point to make is that Blackberry is known to currently run Android based apps and has been proven to be capable of running iOS apps in emulation, and it appears that some portion of legacy compatibility has been provided to BB10 for BBOS through emulation as well, meaning that I believe apps and OS are becoming increasingly irrelevant (because of hardware power and emulation). So OS ceases to become a factor too.


    Things stand to become very interesting if this is the tack Blackberry follows.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:55 PM Reply Like
  • "the smartphone/mobile computing device will communicate with smart desks, smart cars, smart homes, smart everything."


    Well said!


    A dock everywhere, and a single device in the pocket.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:58 PM Reply Like
  • Apples And Oranges - Is There Anything Beyond The iPhone/iPad Story? [View article]
    Integrate Siri with your house by installing [low cost] nodules in every room which would resemble routers or even thermostats. Have a hub for your iPhone or iPad in different areas of your house (probably entrances). Dock it and it automatically wirelessly integrates with those nodules I was speaking of. Voila! you have just turned your home into a smart-house or "iHome" (too bad it's trademarked). You can talk to Siri in any room and demand things of her: change the channel, call grandma, order pizza, set an alarm for your work-out session and anything else you can already do with Siri, plus more. Siri, of course, will still talk back to you whichever room you're in. I know this has been done before with more expensive hardware and software, but I would buy it if it's cheaper. Maybe even have it come with an app that lets you program your own operations when things are said/spoken to Siri using drag and drop visual programming. I know this idea isn't quite "innovative" for Apple but it's a cost effective way for consumers to rise to a new level of indolence .
    Oct 31 02:29 PM


    Didn't think of the car thing while I was pitching ideas for the next iDevice.
    nice Lyogi
    30 Apr 2013, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • "Never say Never"... Vantech
    1 May 2013, 03:06 AM Reply Like
  • Well, if we have a combination of Z10 and Q10 ... that would be a laptop alternative. We take the huge display of the Z10 and combine it with the keyboard and the big battery of the Q10, then we have a slider. When it's closed we can type on the virtual keyboard, and when it's opened, we have a huge display and can type on the physical keyboard!
    30 Apr 2013, 05:05 PM Reply Like
  • Bbry --> Palm
    30 Apr 2013, 05:09 PM Reply Like
  • I think he is dead wrong.
    There are now more use of the tablet than any other forms of computing.
    Corporation just start using it and they like it.
    This confirms my believe BBRY will not be a stand alone company in the next 5 years.
    30 Apr 2013, 05:13 PM Reply Like
  • I think he means the normal tablet, without physical keyboard. It's much more pleasant to type on a physical keyboard. I think it's the combination, which makes the tablet and the keyboard ready for the office and outside the office. And there is the slider again, perhaps a huge slider :-)
    30 Apr 2013, 05:23 PM Reply Like
  • See my comment above.
    30 Apr 2013, 05:28 PM Reply Like
  • Yes, but i think, a hardware keyboard is more handsome for typing. All these virtual keyboards are great, especially the Z10 keyboard, i have a Z10, and i like it. But for much typing, a physical keyboard is much more better.
    30 Apr 2013, 05:38 PM Reply Like
  • I agree. But it seems like this world loves novelty and touch devices are novel. I for one never had fun punching my PIN# on screen during a purchase but I guess I'm different. I definitely like the screen real-estate of touch...but that's why I love sliders also. The Tilt Pro 2 by HTC was a great design with poor poor software. As well as the first Droids. Loved them. Apple loves minimalism and made it popular and others followed. That's why slabs are so dominant right now (imo).
    30 Apr 2013, 05:57 PM Reply Like
  • The Astonishing Tribe had a very brief posting of a concept video just over a year ago. In that was a slab shaped smartphone that used projection technology to display content on a desk. It also enabled typing or selecting items on the projected display. Such a technology could get around the need for a larger display on a tablet, and make a smartphone more extendible. While many of these technologies exist now, they are not yet that miniturized, and battery life is still an issue.


    The other unknown future factor is the heads-up display, such as Google (GOOG) Glass. Given that the effect of such a small display is nearly the same viewing experience as a tablet, then it could replace a tablet. The downside of this is when someone wants to share what they are viewing with another person, though again projection technology could enable that.


    Remember that these companies are looking at future devices. There is also a level of interconnectedness hinted at in many comments from CEOs, and not just from Blackberry (BBRY). The future could very easily appear different that how we use devices today.
    30 Apr 2013, 06:41 PM Reply Like
  • wow! Project onto a roll up computer pad perhaps! I think you are definitely on to something Herr Hansa!
    The mind boggles when contemplating the future.
    And then one should research the commodity that is used and also invest in that.
    A roll up soft computer mat and ability to project as much lighter to carry and presumably less breakage I can hardly wait to see what it will be as it evolves!
    I think the key is not tablet as things are seen as being tablets today but something else and in a material that is just on the cutting edge of roll out. Flexible durable and so on. Probably also could be embedded in a yoga mat as well or a mouse pad etc etc.
    30 Apr 2013, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • This device in this movie clip may be something of interest.



    This was from Red Planet, made in 2000. Since that time there have been several other movies attempting to predict future technologies. Bendable displays are here, along with projection technology and heads-up displays. The goal of manufacturers would be to integrate technologies and enable them to run efficiently on battery power, and survive normal usage while under warranty. We are not that far off seeing these things.
    30 Apr 2013, 07:40 PM Reply Like
  • Carrying around a tablet seems infinitely more handy than carrying around a small rolled up projection screen.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:18 PM Reply Like
  • Use a little imagination. Think smaller for some devices: a slide out or pull out screen could match the size of a current smartphone in the same device, perhaps just a bit thicker. Also, there may be some sizes where a projection makes more sense than a pull-out screen. Current battery technology is not good enough to make this work for long, but that may change over the next five years. In 2002, how many people imagined an iPhone or an iPad; while there were some tablets, the general public had little awareness of them.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:27 PM Reply Like
  • It doesn't matter if no one is imagining it, it has to make sense first. The iPhone made sense from the start, a small computer in your hand with an integrated phone.


    I see more and more businesses adopting tablets all the time, and they're always very happy with the added efficiency and productivity. I do not share Heins view on tablets at all.


    Also, in regard to schools going paperless, seems like tablets would make a lot more sense than a laptop. A tabled with a soft keyboard / cover is still a tablet.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • Consumers buy more of these devices than do businesses. Not all schools will be able to afford tablets, nor will all parents.


    So is the Microsoft Surface a tablet, hybrid, or the re-invention of the netbook? That may bring in some similar devices in the next few years. Already we are seeing some laptops with touchscreens, which is something I think all manufacturers will need to offer in the near future.



    I think the investment opportunity will come from the component suppliers more than from the smartphone vendors. We may want to look more into Texas Instruments and even 3M for projection and display technology, though companies who run specialized coating may find near term gains on screen production. Don't forget Googe Glass, which may usher in an era of wearable computing.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:52 PM Reply Like
  • "This device in this movie clip may be something of interest."


    There was a company making a rollup display but it folded the effort, I forget the details at this moment... But there was something similar too in a movie Babylon A.D....


    As for projectors on smartphones they've been around for a while, see the LG eXpo. There are much better projectors/phones than that one out now but that one was the first I can recall.
    30 Apr 2013, 09:05 PM Reply Like
  • I saw a Sony prototype several years ago that had a usable projection set-up, though battery life was an issue. A Nikon Coolpix camera used a built in projector a few years ago as a commercial product, with a novel way to share images. 3M (MMM) makes/made a pocket projector that will link to a smartphone or video camera to share images/video.


    The other technology is the virtual keyboard projection, which is made by a couple companies as an add-on. The devices are not too big, but still slightly larger than a smartphone. There was also an issue of projecting accurate colour with those, somewhat limiting the usefulness beyond keyboard interface.


    It's all out there, but it has yet to be bundled effectively in a package people want to buy and use. I think we will see it eventually in several smartphones, though the competing technology will be heads-up displays.
    1 May 2013, 02:02 AM Reply Like
  • "Already we are seeing some laptops with touchscreens..."


    This seems self defeating, because if you have a laptop on the table in front of you it is much easier to navigate with a mouse than having to lean forward and touch a vertical screen which will soon give you backache.


    A tablet, on the other hand really is a laptop or handheld device that you can hold in one hand and tap with the other. Reading a book on a tablet is like reading a book in the sense that you flip the page every so often. Flipping the page on a vertical screen in front of you is a flipping pain.


    Of course businesses will use computing devices in all sorts of different ways, so the future is always hard to predict, but it seems to me that touch screens are quite useful for making selections from menus or for applications like ATMs, or for reading or viewing content, but less useful for typing, data entry, designing forms, and so on.
    1 May 2013, 09:34 AM Reply Like
  • Your last paragraph highlights the problems with tablets. The thing is that currently manufacturers are targeting consumers, and not business users. Consumers will perceive a need for touchscreen laptops. That function will become more common, regardless of any practical use issues. Most consumers do not need a smartphone, but they want a smartphone. Consumers are currently buying more than businesses.
    1 May 2013, 05:11 PM Reply Like
  • I believe Heins might be referring to something that was predicted over ten years ago but which went the other way. At on time, the thought was that computer displays (flat, organic, flexible, touch-sensitive) would be ubiquitous and that we could all carry enough computer power and memory around in our pockets (i.e. in our phones) with some sort of NFC communication to the ever-present display devices. These devices were anticipated to be embedded in desks, in counters, in walls, etc. Now recent history went the other way; display devices were expensive enough and difficult enough to make that everyone carries their own display/input device (plus phone communications) and computer power and memory are ubiquitously available in the cloud. I believe that Heins is referring to the fact that cheap flexible, fast, printable displays are coming soon and so the new model for mobile devices will place more emphasis on a personal portable computer and memory (i.e. a smartphone) powering cheap, ubiquitous input/display devices with additional memory and computing power available in the cloud when needed. This will de-emphasize the importance of the portable display system found in current tablets.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:04 PM Reply Like
  • Ok guys, I think we got the idea. Can we say now that BBRY changed the rules again. They're not going out there to play the same game again, are they? I believe we'll now see real evolution on a continuous basis. It was taking place in PC's for some time early on. We don't want another smart phone, phone calls are not what we use them for (maybe 5%). Let's get on with evolution.
    30 Apr 2013, 08:14 PM Reply Like
  • My primary concern with BBRY's future is the departure of Lazaridis...


    But so far I am quite impressed with Mr. Heins.
    30 Apr 2013, 09:07 PM Reply Like
  • Here is the answer in this BB CEO video. It is about 50 minutes long and need flash. Tis guy is very intelligent and upfront. Any one who is seriously investing with Blackberry should watch this.
    30 Apr 2013, 10:50 PM Reply Like
  • Someone just make a keyboard for the Z10 and Q10,no tablet required.
    1 May 2013, 01:18 AM Reply Like
  • They already both have keyboards
    1 May 2013, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • Mr. Heins chose his words very very carefully. He is not saying that smart-phones will replace tablets. He is saying "there'll be no reason to have a tablet any more".


    I own several Apple computers, phones and ipads on my small business. My personal experience with Apple products is that at present there is a difference between the tablet and the laptop/desktop environment that makes it cumbersome to work with certain files on a tablet, let alone a phone. The operating system is not quite the same, using the virtual keyboard isn't quite the same, using the applications isn't quite the same.


    Now, if someone came up with a truly unified software environment and at the heart of it a device you can carry in your pocket, in my opinion that could change the way we work. The rest (foldable/projectable displays/keyboards, etc...) are only the means to implement truly mobile computing. I believe this is what Mr. Heins is referring to.
    1 May 2013, 01:32 AM Reply Like
  • Windows 8
    1 May 2013, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • I think the comments were made mostly to grab headlines and to increase online searches for Blackberry, etc, thus bringing awareness to the launch of the Q10. Ex. say something outrageous, cause a bit of a stir = gain awareness of Q10 phone launch. The adage 'all press is good press" comes to mind.


    And I still don't see how carrying around a "foldable/projectable displays/keyboards, etc..." is handier than carrying a tablet, it actually seems like a terrible idea to be honest.
    1 May 2013, 12:06 PM Reply Like
  • A projection capability built into a smartphone would not require one to carry anything extra. This was the concept device in the video from The Astonishing Tribe, which was pulled not long after it was posted. Essentially, with a projection capability built into a smartphone, any surface becomes a "screen".
    1 May 2013, 05:14 PM Reply Like
  • Stopped at Best Buy in Maine and asked to see new Z10. There wasnt one on display and when I asked about it the sales associate pulled one out of a drawer. The phone didnt have a charge so it wouldn't power up. The funny thing was that the sales associated was in love with the phone and wanted one! I guess BBBY better hope the Verizon promotions get their phones on displays and in front of customers.
    1 May 2013, 02:32 AM Reply Like
  • Methinks - Heins' vision is that tablets and desktops and laptops have their place - and that is in offices/homes. However, while MOBILE we have our 9th generation Q/Z10 - when I arrive at your/my/anyone's office I merely start to project (from my Z/Q10) onto your full size "display" whatever it is I (we) are working on. OR - while on route I merely link to your tablet/etc./etc. and download and or share our work. When I get there we get to the serious work of whatever it is we actually do with all the data, etal.


    It's not an end to tablets etc. it's an end to any other device other than the 10's as a "mobile computing device."
    1 May 2013, 02:46 AM Reply Like
  • It would make a lot more sense to just link up to an in-office projector via bluetooth than for every smartphone to have a built in projector. This way your hands are free to work as the images, etc are projected
    1 May 2013, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • It is called DLNA and some devices already have this capability.



    No projector required, no Bluetooth pairing required. It just works with any other DLNA enabled device, such as many monitors and televisions.
    1 May 2013, 05:17 PM Reply Like
  • I think Heins is right on the money. Whats the difference between a Z10 and a tablet ? Just the screen size - right? So, ..... slide your z10 into the back of your 10 Inch portable screen, .... voilla! Then dock it in your workstation .... then your car or ....... whatever you can imagine.


    This guy Heins is bright!
    1 May 2013, 02:53 AM Reply Like
  • Could have been said about an iPhone 4 yrs ago, and all these situations you have described are already available
    1 May 2013, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe Santa will bring me one of those newfangled pc/tablet/cell phones this Christmas. Then I can get a chip inserted into my brain to teach me how to use it effectively. Ain't tech grand? LOL
    1 May 2013, 04:28 AM Reply Like
  • Einstein said, quote, "My biggest fear is that technology will someday surpass man's intelligence." That day is rapidly approaching, IMHO
    1 May 2013, 04:30 AM Reply Like
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