Tablet Sales Up: BlackBerry Plays Ostrich

Earlier this week, IDC announced that tablet sales were surging ahead with first quarter sales for 2013 exceeding sales for the fist six months of 2012. That’s good news for tablet makers and resellers — particularly if you’re in the Android or iPad business. So, when BlackBerry CEO recently said that tablets were “not a good business model”, what was he thinking?

IDC’s data says that both Apple and Samsung saw sales that exceeded expectations — a surprise given that both usually see a tailing off in sales after the Christmas rush. Gartner’s forecasts are saying that tablet sales will quadruple from their 2012 levels by 2017.

For businesses, that’s probably going to manifest in a greater number of staff showing up in the office expecting or hoping that the IT team will connect their devices to the network. If you don’t have your mobility strategy ready yet, now is the time.

As for BlackBerry’s Thorsten Heins, when he said “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model,” did he get it right?

BlackBerry’s market failure with the PlayBook probably has a lot to do with his comments. But it’s clear that the sheer volume of tablets people are carrying and the rising sales means that they will be here for a long while. It may just be that BlackBerry won’t be a player in that market.

Worldwide Tablet Market Surges Ahead on Strong First Quarter Sales, Says IDC [IDC]

Gartner Says Worldwide PC, Tablet and Mobile Phone Combined Shipments to Reach 2.4 Billion Units in 2013 [Gartner]

BlackBerry CEO Questions Future of Tablets [Bloomberg]

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