The Internet spent Tuesday morning laughing at a suggestion by BlackBerry CEO Thorstein Heins that tablets won't exist in five years, a scenario that is as plausible as it is predictive — in fact, it's as exciting a plan for the future of gadgets as the one Apple built right under your fingertips. "In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," Heins told Bloomberg. "Maybe a big screen in your workspace, but not a tablet as such." So the chief of the revamped cellphone company thinks that, soon enough, we'll all have one gadget that connects up to all the screens in our lives. Which amounts to a prediction about the commodification of our things, which sounds like an awesome plan that is, frankly, bound to happen.
Consider your purse, and your living room, and your briefcase, and your desk: Why do we need them filled with so many different sized screens, all of which do pretty much the same thing? We don't. Indeed, consumers have already stated a preference for less overlap. The allure of so-called "phablets" — at least to the legions who have opted to buy big-screen phones — is that they have a hefty, near tablet-sized screen, perfect for streaming videos or reading magazines, without forgoing the telephone part of things (even if it does a look a little silly right now).