Google quits tablet business to focus on laptops, cancels two in-production devices
Why it matters: Remember when Google unveiled the Pixel Slate at 2018’s Made By Google event? It seems that the device will be the last tablet it makes for the foreseeable future, as the company abandons the format to concentrate on its laptop efforts.
Computer World and Business Insider both report that Google had two unnamed, smaller tablets in development set for release later this year, but those have now been canceled, and the employees who were working on them have been reassigned to other areas. The majority are said to have joined the Pixelbook team, with the others moved to “confidential projects.”
The ChromeOS-powered Pixel Slate arrived with mostly middling-to-poor reviews last year as many complained about its software and, in the case of the Core m3 model, poor performance. It certainly didn’t pose a threat to Apple’s iPads, which continue to dominate the tablet space though their mix of performance, software, and various price ranges. The impending arrival of iPadOS, which promises to bring iPads closer to laptops, may also have influenced Google’s thinking.
Focusing its resources on the better-received Pixelbook feels like a smart plan on Google’s part. A company spokesperson told Computer World it was “very likely” a successor to the 2-in-1 would be released sometime in 2019.
Google assures those who own a Pixel Slate that the device will be supported for the long-term. Rick Osterloh, SVP of Google’s devices and services business, tweeted that “Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu).”
Hey, it’s true…Google’s HARDWARE team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward, but make no mistake, Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu)
— Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) June 20, 2019