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July 24, 2013

BlackBerry’s Head of PlayBook Tablet Resigns

The executive responsible for overseeing the PlayBook tablet of BlackBerry  resigned from his position, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal based on information obtained from the company.

David J. Smith, executive vice president of mobile computing at BlackBerry relinquished his position due to personal reasons. The spokesperson of the company said Smith will continue to report everyday and he is committed to working with the company through a proper transition.

Aside from Smith, two other senior executives left BlackBerry after the company posted a disappointing first quarter earnings results. The two executives who resigned were T.A. McCann, head of social networking, and Marc Gingras, chief of apps.

BlackBerry CEO Heins not satisfied with PlayBook experience

A person familiar with the situation said Smith made his decision to leave the company over the past few weeks. Smith had been working for the Canadian smartphone manufacturer for eight years. In 2011, BlackBerry appointed him to supervise the development of the PlayBook tablet. Many analysts opined that the BlackBerry has limited features, and it failed to attract consumers. In short, PlayBook was unsuccessful and caused the company to write down $485 million in unsold PlayBook tablet inventory in 2011 and another $500 million write down last year.

Thorstein Heins, CEO of BlackBerry said the company will end the life cycle of the PlayBook tablet and it will not be integrated with the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. Heins emphasized that the decision was difficult, and explained that he was not satisfied with the level of experience from the device. Although the Playbook was not updated with the new operating system, the company removed defects in the existing PlayBook software last June.

BlackBerry developing new prototype phone ‘Aristo’

Heins decided to shift the company’s resources to its core smartphone products. According to sources, BlackBerry is currently developing a new smartphone with a larger screen. The devices is referred to internally Aristo, and it is expected to be released in the market by the end of the year.

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Dave Thornton

Senior Editor

Senior Editor
Been involved in technology for many years, more than I care to remember. Live in Dundee, Scotland. I like Android, Windows Phone OS, BlackBerry OS and iOS, and love writing about all things techie. Currently have a Honor 6+, Elephone P6000, Nexus 5, Chrombook C720, HTC One M7, Nokia Lumina 625, Microsoft Lumia 435, Blackberry Q10, HTC Hero and iPad mini