Was former BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins actually right about tablets? While we laughed at Heins’ prediction last year that tablets would be dead in just a few years, there’s now some evidence to suggest that he might have been onto something. In an interview with Re/code, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly says that tablet sales at his stores have been absolutely plummeting this year while PC sales have actually experienced a rebound in the wake of Windows XP’s demise.
“Tablets boomed and now are crashing,” Joly tells Re/code. “The volume has really gone down in the last several months. But I think the laptop has something of a revival because it’s becoming more versatile. So, with the two-in-ones, you have the opportunity to have both a tablet and laptop, and that’s appealing to students in particular.”
While Best Buy’s experience with slowing tablet sales isn’t enough to declare tablets dead in the water, we also know that Apple’s iPad sales growth has been stopped dead in its tracks despite the fact that iPads’ average selling price has been dropping steadily for the past few years. This problem is only expected to get worse once Apple releases a bigger iPhone with a 5.5-inch display later this year — many users might just be happy enough to have a larger iPhone and won’t see the need for spending money on a tablet.
So chalk one up to Thorsten Heins, although he’ll still never live down his declaration in the summer of 2012 that “there’s nothing wrong with [BlackBerry] as it exists right now.”