Google removed the “Tablets” section from the official Android website, thus providing yet another signal that it’s moving away from that particular form factor, at least in the context of pure Android offerings. While the company is presently encouraging original equipment manufacturers to embrace tablets in the Chrome OS segment, it doesn’t appear to be interested in following up on the Pixel C which will be three years old this October. The removal of the “Tablets” section occurred at some point in the last 48 hours, with the page still being available on Thursday, according to a snapshot of Android.com recorded by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, as seen below.
The Mountain View, California-based tech giant hasn’t commented on the development in any capacity, though it also avoided speaking about Android tablets for several years now. During a Reddit ask-me-anything happening held last July before Android 8.0 Oreo hit the stable channel (and was officially named), Android engineer Mike Cleron said Google hasn’t abandoned tablets as a form factor but is more focused on identifying the next significant innovation in that segment instead of catering to existing solutions, none of which are particularly popular. Apple’s iPad lineup remains by far the most dominant consumer-facing series of tablets on the market but the product category as a whole has been declining for four consecutive years now, according to a February report authored by the International Data Corporation.
The future of Android tablets hence remains highly uncertain, with many OEMs now abandoning such products or reducing the number of new models they’re introducing on an annual basis. Samsung is still expected to debut the Galaxy Tab S4 and at least one entry-level slate later this year, with Huawei also being understood to be working on such devices, including one with a dual-camera setup, according to recent regulatory filings.