BlackBerry CEO Talks BB10, Future of Mobile Computing

ORLANDO -- BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins gave a glimpse into where he sees the company's BlackBerry 10 operating system going, how the company is performing and if he still thinks tablets are a fad. During a Q&A session at the company's BlackBerry Live event, Heins said the company is on the starting grid in terms of its position in the smartphone market.

"Twelve months ago, I was told we would be out of business in two quarters. It didn't happen," Heins said. "We managed the company through a very, very difficult time. And what we did in parallel is we innovated. We are confident in the future of BlackBerry 10. We think we have something that is different and better and it has a future. We built BlackBerry 10 because we believe in this vision of mobile computing."

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That vision of mobile computing, Heins said, includes a world that will be extremely different from the current mobile landscape. "I'm not just looking at the smartphone. The smartphone is a stepping stone to mobile computing. In 5 or 7 years we will have a totally different world in how we use these devices." 

Evidently, according to Heins at least, that world will be one where tablets, as we currently understand them, will have come and gone. Heins said he believes that in that 5- to 7-year time frame, consumers will grow tired of carrying around multiple devices and will instead want one single mobile computing solution rather than a tablet and smartphone.

This isn't the first time that Heins has aired his thoughts on the future of tablets. Just last month he expressed his belief that tablets would be irrelevant in 5 years. That's not to say that Heins hates tablets. In fact, the BlackBerry CEO said he sees a future where users can access BB10 on both small- and large-screen devices. How exactly that will work, however, remains to be seen.

Daniel P. Howley
LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.