Tablets have limited future: BlackBerry CEO

As BlackBerry prepares for the Canada and United States launch of the BlackBerry Q10 smart phone, the company’s chief expressed doubts over the future of tablet devices.

In five years, people will no longer have much of a reason to keep tablets around, Thorsten Heins, CEO of BlackBerry said Monday in an interview at the Milken Institute Conference in Los Angeles.

“Maybe a big screen in the workplace, but not a tablet as such,” Thorsten was quoted by the online business publication Bloomberg.com as saying. “Tablets themselves are not good business models.”

Could his remarks be an indication of BlackBerry’s plans for its PlayBook tablet device?

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Introduced two years ago, the PlayBook was widely slammed critics for such shortcomings as not having a built-in email feature. BlackBerry lost about $485 million in 2011 when it wrote down unsold inventory of the device. The company sold only 150,000 units of the PlayBook by the fall of 2012.

Earlier, in January, Heins said BlackBerry would only take another kick on the tablet can if such a device would promise to be profitable.

He said he intends to make BlackBerry and “absolute leader in mobile computing” in five years but not a “copycat.”

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