I agree: the tablet is a bad business model


Recently, BlackBerry’s CEO has been quoted as saying:

“In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

Sanusi already has a detailed analysis of the tablets situation over at TechSuplex, and it is summarised in this single sentence: Besides Apple and Samsung, no other OEM makes decent money off tablets. Everyone else is struggling to make anything off tablets. Everyone else. The reasons why Apple and Samsung are able to pull it off are clearly and excellently stated in Sanusi’s article and won’t be rehashed here, so go read it up.

As for the future of tablets, I do not know whether or not tablets will be redundant in five (5) years or not. However, I can say that with smartphones inching closer and closer towards tablet sizes, I suspect that many mobile users will not be needing a tablet sooner or later. We see monster phones pushing the size envelope. If I carry a Samsung Galaxy Mega with a 6.3 inch display, would I really need a tablet? Certainly not a 7-inch tablet. Perhaps 7-inch tablets will be redundant in five (5) years then? There is a strong possibility of that.

What of 10-inch tablets? Things are not so clear. They are almost as large as netbooks, yet are much less functional. They are not as portable as 7-inch tablets and smartphones, yet do not offer anything extra beyond the larger display size. Again, if someone owns a 7-inch tablet, do they normally also purchase a 10-inch tablet? Usually not. So, if I own a Samsung Galaxy Mega (which is a good replacement for a 7-inch tablet), what are the chances that I would also purchase and carry 10-inch tablet? Next to none.

Perhaps, tablets won’t be totally redundant in five years. Perhaps it will happen in ten (10) years instead. Perhaps the BlackBerry CEO, while right about tablets being a bad business model, stretched things about their redundancy, and so perhaps it will probably never happen. I agree that the tablet is a bad business model, but I tend to think that he stretched things about tablets not being needed in another five years. Still, time will tell. Five years is a long period of time in mobile.

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6 thoughts on “I agree: the tablet is a bad business model

  1. I agree. I have said it here before, tablets simply do not have unique functionalities to keep its place in the tech world. They are also limited by their size in some cases They are just a fad that will either pass away or evolve into something more useful.

  2. I said pretty much the same as Mr Mo is saying here, at another forum.

    Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy Mega 5.8 Specs Revealed | TechnoBuffalo

    I feel there are just two ends of this divide:

    A jumbo sized phablet that allows practical use as a phone (can be lifted to the ears), while offering expansive screen real estate (max 5.5 inches)

    or ....

    -A proper tablet of about 10 inches and above, with limited portability.

    the seven inches of this world are like bats - neither quite a birds, not an animals, and will probably gradually diminish in prominence..

  3. With the swift convergence of phones and tablet specifications, the uniqueness of tablets gradually fades into the background. I was initially inclined to buh-ah the statement of the Blackberry CEO but, after some thought, I picked some truth in his outburst.

    Someone definitely has to re-invent (if possible) the business model for tablets or else consumers will begin to ask: What do I need a Tablet for?? Now you will agree with me that that is a dangerous position to be in...

  4. Er, well, maybe tablets in the form of ipads will become redundant, but last week, Acer introduced a $400 7.8" tab running the full Windows 8 OS. Coupled with the Surface Pro and new ATOM chips for improved battery life, methinks, tabs will only become more powerful and eat into the laptop space as it happened with the PC.

  5. I don't really agree that tablets are a bad business model. Ins spur if the progress that OEMs like Samsung have made into blurring the lines between phone and tablets with their NOTE and MEGA lines I don't see it killing off the tablet. Tablets arent new, they have been in conception long before they gained mainstream appeal with the iPad.

    Tablets of today seem underpowered compared to computer, I don't really agree with this. Ask yourself what most people consumers even companies do with their computers, most work done boils down to word processing, bookkeeping, data simulation, photo editing, video editing, some of these tasks can already be done on a tablet.
    in the next few yeas I see tablets (such as the surface with its detachable keyboards) replacing desktop companies and laptops.

    Whether the CEO of Blackberry thinks its a bad business model or not I just hope for his sake that he makes sure that Blackberry reenters the tablet market. It might not sell 20 million in its first quarter but 1 million or even 3 million still counts for something.


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