The Role of Tablets in a Fast-Evolving Mobile Market
The role of tablets in a world of 5-inch smartphone displays is still very much up for discussion. Business use cases for tablets was the topic of the day at a New York City conference hosted by tech site TabTimes April 30—the same day BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins made headlines for second-guessing the longevity of the tablet trend. "In five years, I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," Heins told Bloomberg during an interview at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model." Meanwhile, in New York, executives presented case studies and evolving strategies. American Airlines replaced the 40-pound, 3,000-page kits it gave pilots with tablets, to results as varied as fewer pilot injuries to a $1 million savings in fuel costs. At New York's Institute of Culinary Education, flour-covered tablets are offering richer lessons and more media-savvy young chefs. But there was still acknowledgement of the need for software that expands tablets' capabilities. "If you want to use tablets more as primary [than complementary] devices, said one panelist, "more innovation is necessary."