It’s official! Google will no longer make tablets. The Pixel Slate, launched last year, turns out to be Google’s last self-made tablet. Even though the support for Pixel Slate will continue, the company will now shift its focus on Chrome OS laptops.
The announcement didn’t come as a surprise as Google hadn’t announced any plans for products which were tablet-specific this year and Pixel Slate was the last one of its kind. The company had high hopes from the Pixel Slate and were planning on making smaller tablets (without attachable keyboards this time), according to a report. But the device which was meant to be an alternative to the Pixelbook, didn’t perform well in the market.
To be clear, Pixelbook even though it can act like a tablet with its 360-degree hinge, doesn’t fall under the tablet category (at least not for Google). The Pixel Slate on the other hand, comes with a detachable keyboard. There is a thin line between these sister devices as they’re appearance wise almost similar. The one which won’t be manufactured hereafter is the detachable variety of tablets.
Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President of Google, tweeted on Thursday:
“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)”
The employees who were working on the now-abandoned tablets have already been reassigned to the division that looks after laptops. Though Google is no longer making its own tablets, there are plenty of manufacturers who make tablet devices which run on ChromeOS. Which is why the team will focus on software development of both laptops and tablets.
Treading the bridge that connect phones and computers has never been an easy task for any company. Unless, of course, if the company is Apple. Apple’s iPad is no doubt one of the most successful tablet ever created (though it isn’t marketed as a tablet). Even Google succumbed to the dreams of creating a successful line of tablet computers.
Will Google ever make tablets again? There isn’t any definite answer to this question. Looking at how its just Apple that has been able to taste some success with tablets, future for a Google-built tablet look rather bleak.