Yes, the Pixel Slate
is Google's last tablet. The information was recently confirmed
by the company's hardware head Rick Osterloh, who also said that Google will continue to support its partners who decide to launch new tablets going forward.
Instead, Google is determined to dabble in the laptop business, as pointed out by Osterloh. News about Google dropping its tablet arm broke just hours before Google's SVP of Devices & Services was forced to come forward and clarify the situation.
The report by ComputerWorld
mentions that Google had decided to abandon two Android tablet projects recently, even though they weren't that far along in the development process. While it's true that Google has dropped any plans for a Pixel Slate
sequel, it looks like the company is determined to continue to support its last tablet for a quite a long time (2024) since it's being used by many consumers, enterprise customers and education.
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 two tablets in the working at Google were smaller than the current Pixel
Slate, but the company wasn't satisfied by the QA test results and decided to pull the plug on the projects. Both slates were supposed to be released by the end of 2019, but people working on the project were told on Wednesday that these devices will never see the light of day.
Apparently, Google felt that the tablets weren't too much of an upgrade compared to the Pixel Slate, a Chrome OS tablet that was met with lukewarm reception from the media and consumers alike due to software issues. It's probably one of the cause of Google's recent decision to focus on Chrome OS hardware like laptops rather than trying to optimize the software to tablets. Google was probably expecting to be able to compete with the iPad family soon after releasing the Pixel Slate, but the decision to shelve its tablets business tells us that the company is not yet ready to take on Apple in that field.
On the bright side, a Google spokesperson confirmed that a Pixelbook 2 is totally in the cards, and that we should expect it to arrive by the end of 2019. Of course, these plans can change on the fly, but at least it's an indication that Google considers replacing the abandoned tablets with something.
Google statement is more of a reassurance that those who already own the Pixel Slate
will continue to get support going forward. It's also an important sign for Google's partners that the search giant will stand by any project involving tablets, despite the fact that the Mountain View company has decided to shift focus to laptops. Unfortunately, the fact that Google is the first to abandon Chrome OS tablets doesn't inspire confidence at all, so it won't be surprising to see some of its partners abandoning the ship as well.