Google halts tablet production

July 02, 2019

Google has confirmed it will not be releasing further tablets, with the company instead recently announcing its hardware efforts will focus on laptops using the Chrome operating system.

The news came despite rumors a second-generation Pixel Slate was in the works, along with smaller sized tablets.

So, what has prompted the shift?

No more tablets for Google

On June 20, a Google company statement noted: “For Google’s first-party hardware efforts, we’ll be focusing on Chrome OS laptops and will continue to support Pixel Slate”.

It put paid to speculation an upgrade to last year’s Pixel Slate was in the works, and according to Computerworld also saw the company halt work on smaller sized tablet devices.

“To be clear, Google hadn’t actually announced any tablet-specific products this year; the last such item that made its way to the market was the Pixel Slate in 2018,” Computerworld notes.

“…the company did have two smaller-sized tablets under development – and earlier this week, it decided to drop all work on those devices and make its roadmap revolve entirely around laptops instead.”

Computerworld further explains the move will not affect convertible options like the Pixelbook, which, courtesy of its attached keyboard, falls under Google’s definition of a laptop.

No upgrade for the Slate

Launched in November 2018, the Pixel Slate was Google’s most recent attempt at challenging Microsoft and Apple in the lucrative tablet market for professionals.

A 12.3-inch tablet that is designed to blur the lines between a tablet and a computer, the Slate runs Google Chrome software with Google Drive built-in and has two USB-C ports which are capable of fast-charging and 4k video output.

It comes complete with a selection of configurations, with the US$599 base model featuring 4GB of RAM, 32GB of storage and an Intel Celeron processor. From there the spec’s and price tag increase, with the top of the line US$1599 version featuring 16GB of RAM, 256GB of storage and an 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor.

In between there are 8th generation Intel Core M3 processor or Core i5 versions available. Google will now continue to support this model but no new incarnations are on the cards.

Tablet Wall Holder

Looking for a tablet wall mount

No mystery device?

The move also comes despite Google flagging a mystery device was in the works earlier this year at the Cloud Next event.

During a session entitled ‘Hardware for Business’ Google’s Lead Product Manager Steve Jacobs took to the stage to note Google’s commitment to hardware would involve a potential new device that would better assist the workforce become “more productive on-the-go”.

As the scope of this device came with no further detail, it remains unclear whether this was one of the tablets Google has now abandoned or whether its focus is more laptop-like and something is yet to be revealed.

As Tech Crunch reflects, the tablet game can be challenging, with Apple and its ever-popular iPad continuing to dominate the space a decade after it was first released.

At the end of 2018, Apple still retained a 26.6 per cent market share of the tablet space.

“Google has taken numerous swings at the space, but never quite found its place in amongst the premium iPad or far cheaper Android/Chromebook alternatives,” Tech Crunch reflects.

“And while the company once seemed content to treat Nexus/Pixel devices as much as references for its software, it has clearly taken a much more serious approach to its own devices in recent years.”

A hard market to crack

As Tech Crunch reflects, the tablet game can be challenging, with Apple and its ever-popular iPad continuing to dominate the space a decade after it was first released.

At the end of 2018, Apple still retained a 26.6 per cent market share of the tablet space.

“Google has taken numerous swings at the space, but never quite found its place in amongst the premium iPad or far cheaper Android/Chromebook alternatives,” Tech Crunch reflects.

“And while the company once seemed content to treat Nexus/Pixel devices as much as references for its software, it has clearly taken a much more serious approach to its own devices in recent years.”

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