Google's removal of the "Tablets" section from the official Android website was a mistake, according to Hiroshi Lockheimer, the company's Senior Vice President of Platforms and Ecosystems. The move raised a lot of speculation in recent days, having been widely interpreted as yet another signal that Alphabet's subsidiary is moving away from single-purpose tablets in favor of a more aggressive push toward versatile mobile solutions. Mr. Lockheimer attributed the development to "a bug" deployed as part of an update to the Android website earlier this week, with the tablet section now once again being live as of Saturday evening PST.
The section itself doesn't feature any new devices seeing how there aren't many such products in the first place, with the only three tablets listed on the website being NVIDIA's Shield Tablet K1, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0, and the Sony Xperia Z4. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant hasn't deployed many tablet-specific features or improvements as part of the last several iterations of Android and showed no intentions of following up on the Pixel C slate from 2015. The company is now embracing the tablet form factor in the Chrome OS ecosystem, having collaborated with a number of electronics makers to deliver Chromebook tablets targeting the education segment earlier this year.
Tablets remain one of the fastest-declining consumer electronics categories on the planet, with their global market shrinking for four years in a row now, according to a recent report conducted by the International Data Corporation. Samsung and Huawei are still expected to introduce a number of Android tablets in the second half of the year, though many other major OEMs such as Sony have seemingly abandoned the field entirely. As a result, most of the latest smartphone advancements such as bezel-less displays and artificial intelligence-powered solutions still haven't made their way to contemporary slates.