Google calls time on tablet hardware - Mobile World Live

Google calls time on tablet hardware

21 JUN 2019

Google ended development of its own-brand tablets, stating its computer hardware activities will be “solely focused on building laptops moving forward”.

Rick Osterloh, SVP of Devices and Services, took to Twitter to clarify that its “Android and Chrome OS teams are 100 per cent committed for the long run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, education)”.

ComputerWorld stated Google had two tablet devices in the pipeline, but these were dropped to focus on laptops. Apparently, disappointing results during quality assurance led to the demise of the tablets.

Google’s last foray into the tablet sphere, Pixel Slate, was announced in late 2018 and the company said it will continue to support this Chrome OS-powered device. It has previously offered Android tablets as well.

The global tablet market is not an easy place to do business: the segment itself is not growing and Apple is taking out a big chunk with its lucrative iPad line. Behind this, top-tier hardware vendors including Samsung, Huawei and Lenovo, plus retail giant Amazon, provide fierce competition for other players unable to reach scale.

In addition, growth of the two-in-one segment, laptop computers with detachable keyboards which can function as tablets, is providing another form of competition at the high-end.

With this in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising Google is opting to focus its own hardware activities elsewhere, while supporting Android and Chrome OS partners which already have a stronger position in the tablet market.

The hardware moves do not affect Google’s Pixel smartphone line or its Google Home/Nest units.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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