Are Tablets Here to Stay? [We Ask You]

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In a previous ‘We Ask You‘ column discussing the future of tablets I began the piece by saying, “The tablet is a form factor that we can safely say is here to stay.” At the time I believed it, and I still do to a certain extent. However, technology has a habit of advancing quickly, and things can change on a whim.

Who really thought the iPad would usher in a time when tablets were the thing to buy? Who would have thought that even Microsoft would be forced to jump on board the bandwagon — with both Windows 8 and the Surface — for fear of losing its dominant place in the market? But both of these scenarios have played out.

This week the CEO of BlackBerry, Thorsten Heins, called into question the future of tablets by telling Bloomberg, “In five years I don’t think there’ll be a reason to have a tablet anymore. Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such. Tablets themselves are not a good business model.” Is he correct or should we not pay attention to the guy in charge of the company responsible for the PlayBook?

This Week’s Question…

We want to know, Are Tablets Here To Stay? We’re keeping things very simple this week, with a question that could be answered with as little as a “Yes” or a “No.” Obviously we’re hoping you’ll go above and beyond what’s merely necessary and instead tell us your thoughts on what Heins said about the tablet form factor.

We particularly want to know whether you think tablets are likely to stick with us, and if so, for how long? They’re certainly proving popular right now, but some people are finding the form factor just isn’t for them. Ryan couldn’t find a single productive use for his tablet, and my cheap Android tablet has been usurped by a shiny new Chromebook.

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Start with that simple “Yes” or “No” as outlined above, but then tell us why you think tablets will either stand the test of time or disappear as quickly as they invaded the personal computer market. If you disagree with Heins tell us what’s so great about tablets?

If you agree with Heins and think tablets are nothing more than a novelty, a stopgap, a means to a better end, then what will replace them? Is Google Glass going to usher in a new wave of wearable computing devices? Or is the smartphone going to continue to grow in size and stature until it kills the need for the iPad, the Nexus 7, and all of the other tablet wannabes?

Drawing Conclusions

All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights and the respect of other readers. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?

We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.

Image Credit: Cheon Fong Liew

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