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BlackBerry boss predicts tablets will be dead 'in five years'

"In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet any more," says BlackBerry boss Thorsten Heins.

Thorsten Heins isn't a big fan of big screens. The BlackBerry boss reckons mobile phones will become so good you won't need a tablet.

"In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet any more," he told Bloomberg. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model."

That might be news to anyone who bought a BlackBerry PlayBook, the dreadful slate that cost the company $485m because so few were ever sold. Panned by critics for launching without a built-in email function (you had to pair your BlackBerry phone), it was swiftly discounted and soon given away for nothing.

This is something of a turnaround for the Canadian company's CEO, who in February revealed BlackBerry was working on a new tablet, telling Reuters, "I've asked my teams to build another one." He did stress it needed to make money, however, so perhaps the company's decided there's simply no way of doing that. "If the hardware doesn't provide the margins I need, then it makes no sense in doing it."

He is bullish on BlackBerry's prospects, however. "In five years, I see BlackBerry to be the absolute leader in mobile computing -- that's what we're aiming for," Heins says. "I want to gain as much market share as I can, but not by being a copycat."

BlackBerry's latest phone, the Qwerty-packing Q10, went on sale exclusively in Selfridge's in London this weekend. "We have very, very good first signs already after the launch in the UK," Heins boasts. "This is going into the installed base of more than 70 million BlackBerry users, so we have quite some expectations. We expect several tens of million of units."

CNET UK's phone-reviewing cyborg Andy Hoyle is putting the Q10 through his punishing programme of tests as we speak, and will pronounce his definitive verdict later this week.

Did you buy a PlayBook? Would you buy another one? What do you think of the Q10? Express your thoughts on all things BlackBerry below, or over on our Facebook page.