When BlackBerry's CEO Thorsten Heins said “In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet any more,” it caught the attention of news media around the world. As a commentator on Pandodaily pointed out, “Heins might be right to identify the tablet market as a poor place for businesses not named Apple or Samsung.”
While BlackBerry’s view of the market might be different to Apple’s – which saw a 65% quarterly growth in sales of its iPad earlier this year – did he have a point?
There’s a great overview in this slideshare presentation that suggests he does. While it shows the tablet market growing rapidly, when you look at the growth and penetration of smartphones, the differences in scale are striking.
Take a look at slide 7, and you’ll see that tablets are making inroads, overtaking PCs. But slide 4, showing the overall growth of mobile, gives you the real picture of the dramatic growth in smartphone use. So for the foreseeable future, there’s no contest – smartphones are the clear winner, and increasing their lead.
Predicting the future is an uncertain business. As Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer said in 2007, “there’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.”
So watch this space. But as you keep an eye on the latest developments, like most people, you’ll probably do it on your smartphone.