Recently, BlackBerry’s CEO has been quoted as saying: Advertisement “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet any more. Maybe a…

Tablets are not a good business model – BlackBerry CEO

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 any more. 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 a 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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Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi's journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  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.

  6. Dateline 2018: How have tablets fared five years after the BlackBerry CEO’s statement?

    They are not dead, so he was off on that. But he was right about how there really is no more a reason to have a tablet any more. Tablet popularity and sales have dipped over time. In November 2017, IDC reported that tablet shipments have consistently declined since 2015.

    People are not buying tablets as much as they used to do.

  7. I’m still a big fan of tablet, the ipad is a great example of what tablet should look like, most time an average pc doesn’t offer the battery life of a tablet while a mobile phone screen isn’t large enough to enjoy movie. They all have their own space.

  8. Tablets for consumer use may have declined, but for business use are on the up. In at least three of my last workplaces tablets were introduced. They are most useful for mobile staff, especially if you’re dealing with a client, standard practice is to share the screen with the customer (especially if it’s information relating to them). Can’t quite see that happening in the same way with a phablet or a netbook.

    Went into large, very busy bank a couple of years ago where the “How can I help you?” staff do so with a tablet in hand. Now that I think about it, everywhere I know that has been using tablets it’s either been an iPad or a Microsoft Surface device. And those 7″ tablets? They’re still around and mostly for personal use.

    Tablets may be in decline, however I suspect that when businesses decide to not use them any longer for the next big thing, that would truly be the death knell for the tablet market.

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