By Hayley Tsukayama
In comments Monday at a Milken Institute conference, Heins said smartphones will become users’ main source of computing power in the next five years. People will simply plug whatever display, keyboard or other accessory they need to do their work into a smartphone. For many workers, a smartphone will be the only device they need, he said.
“I doubt whether there’s a tablet a few years from now,” Heins said. “You can just connect it to a big screen, and off you go.”
Heins has switched all of his computing to a smartphone and BlackBerry’s own PlayBook tablet, he said. And while he acknowledged that some jobs require other devices — for example, he said, he doesn’t work a lot with spreadsheets — he thinks “40, 50 percent” of people will only use their phones.
There is a consumer push to reduce gadgetry, with many people expecting that the market for laptops will continue to dwindle as users favor tablets more heavily. There’s also a trend toward consolidation with larger “phablet” phone-tablet hybrids — though it’s up for debate whether that’s an indication that tablets are taking over the phone market, rather than the other way around.