TechSpot: Death of the tablet in 5 years, or is it too soon?

In a recent interview with the Milken Institute Conference, BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins gave his opinion of where tablets might be going in the next five years, sparking a virtual firestorm of heated discussions all over the Web: “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore,” he told an interviewer, according to Bloomberg. “Maybe a big screen in your workplace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.”

This will probably come as a bit of a surprise to anyone who has followed reported statistics on tablet buying habits; in fact, one research firm reported just this past month that the global tablet market hit a whopping 40.6 million units shipped just in the first quarter of 2013. Another study from Gartner looking at predicted tablet sales worldwide expects the market to grow to 3 billion units sold by 2017.

There are wildly differing viewpoints on whether or not the tablet is on its way out, as you might guess. One perspective is that of the smartphone taking over what the tablet does; which is basically content consumption and creation, albeit the latter on a more limited scale than, say, a standard desktop or convertible Ultrabook.

Read: "Dead in five years": The reports of the tablet's demise are greatly exaggerated

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