Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) CEO Thorsten Heins has gotten a lot of mockery and heat over the last couple of days when he said in an interview that there would be little use for a tablet computer in five years. That has been construed to say that he thinks the tablet market would be dead by 2018. This in the wake of a number of surveys that indicate the tablet market is exploding in depth and breadth over the last year as competition has intensified in the space.
Image: Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY)
First of all, the words he used – there were two words that we think have been missed. “As such.” Heins used these words in references to tablets as we know them now – “as such,” or as they are, because he sees the tablet market evolving within the next five years to where, yes, tablets as we know them now – “as such” – just might not be useful anymore.
Anyway, why would he say such a thing, when the tablet space is facing huge growth? Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), for all of its faults in the last few years, is still around, alive and kicking. Therefore, one has to suspect that the people inside the company are not dumb. In fact, there maybe indications that Heins’ comments, “as such” – yep, that just happened – were probably just a some rhetoric so as to not tip his company’s hand on its plans even though he had admitted personally earlier in the year that the company was planning to release several devices that run on the new BlackBerry 10 operating system.
However, while Heins was touting the “demise” of tablets, Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) U.K. managing director Rob Orr addressed a question of whether one of the “several” BB10 devices to be launched will be a tablet – similar to the much-maligned Playbook of 2011. He said, “I’m not going to get into specifics about the roadmap but BB10 was the architecture for mobile computing. It’s meeting the needs of its customers and we will make decisions that make sense to what consumers need and what makes sense to us as a business. We are watching [the tablet market] closely and will continue to do so.”
We don;t know about you, but this doesn’t sound like an explicit rejection of the tablet market, which is supposedly going to be “dead” in five years. This, combined with Heins’ comments could suggest that, indeed, Research in Motion Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) just might not only be working on a tablet, but perhaps a tablet that is very different than the tablets “as such” in the market right now.
What do you think? Are we reading too much into this, or do you think there is no BB10-powered tablet in the works for Research in Motion? We’d like your feedback in the comments section below.