NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BlackBerry ( BBRY) CEO Thorsten Heins should be fired after he declared that tablets would be irrelevant five years from now. How absurd.
Taking it one step further, he also announced, during the company's first-quarter earnings results last week, that there would not be an update for the current BlackBerry Playbook's operating system. Okay, now he should be fired. Before we assume that Heins is either right or wrong, let's look at some numbers. According to a report by Gartner, tablet growth for 2013 alone will be nearly 70%, with shipped devices growing to 197 million, from 116 million in 2012. Let's take it one step further: By 2017, tablet sales are expected to outpace PC sales, which shipped over 340 million units in 2012. tablet sales in 2017 are expected to be around 467 million units, according to Gartner. This represents an increase of approximately 350 million units from 2012's levels, or about 303%. So let me get this straight, Thorsten Heins thinks a market that is set to triple in five years should be ignored because tablets will be irrelevant? You've gotta be kidding me. I understand that Heins is in the midst of trying to turn around one of the largest collapses that we've ever seen, when BlackBerry's stock dropped from $145 in May 2008 to $6 in the fall of 2012. I also understand the company has a lot of restructuring efforts ahead and is still trying to figure where to make its money. Clearly, management's focus is going to be on smartphones. While this is understandably a strong market to be in, is it really necessary to come out and say that tablets will be dead in five years? If so, that essentially makes Apple ( AAPL) a failure five years from now. As PC markets continue to dissolve, you have to assume the money is going somewhere. It's obvious consumers aren't moving backwards in time. No, they're becoming more connected to technology and the Internet than ever before. So if they're not buying PCs, what are they buying? Obviously, tablets.