The Business Case for Tablets - Page 3

Calling the Logitech custom software "critical," he added that a reason that iOS has done so well is "people find it easy to add their own value-added apps."

According to the aforementioned Forrester report, 34 percent of information workers are already using company-specific applications on tablets.

That report also reveals that most popular applications being used for work on smartphones are also being used on tablets—and to a greater degree. Of a group of 4,400-plus information workers, 79 percent said they use their smartphone to access email, while 85 percent said the same of their tablets. The intranet is used by 26 percent on smartphones, but 44 percent on tablets. File storage, information management, Web conferencing, team collaboration, sales force applications—in every instance, users are engaging these work applications more with tablets than smartphones.

The Future of Tablets

BlackBerry's Heins, to be clear, doesn't doubt the benefits of tablets or what they make possible. What Heins was explaining during the Milken interview is how he expects mobility will evolve.

At the BlackBerry Live event in Orlando, Fla., May 14, Heins, in response to a question about his April comment, explained that BlackBerry believes users are moving to a point where they will have one mobile device—a motor, or brain, that will power or inform various screens or touchpoints in our lives, from watches to cars, televisions and other displays.

"My true belief is that we will all be running around with, in five years from now, one device that will be our personal mobile engine ... and that will affect tablets, as well," Heins said.

Peter Devenyi, senior vice president of enterprise software at BlackBerry, reiterated during a separate meeting: "We definitely see a world where you bring in your one device and it becomes your [world]. You unplug it and go home and plug it in there, and you continue to work as seamlessly as you ever did. There are many, many workers that will have no need to have a PC. ... That's what we all really want—we all want one device that can ... provide us with all the peripheral connections we need."

When speaking about BlackBerry, Heins never refers to it as a smartphone company. Instead, he's repeatedly says that BlackBerry plans to be the "mobile computing" leader. This idea of a single "mobile brain" serving as the connecting point to all that we connect to is what he's referring to. And it's not at odds with how tablets are used.

The future of tablets may be the same sorts of benefits but from an evolved form factor.

"Over the next three to five years, tablets have a secure growth curve ahead," Strategy Analytics Executive Director Neil Mawston told eWEEK. "A lot of the growth in tablets is coming from notebook and netbook replacement, so there's plenty of growth available for tablets into the foreseeable future."