Earlier this morning Google confirmed that it would be stopping its production on tablets and that it would no longer be focusing on this sector of the device market. This refers only to Google’s hardware division, known by most as the Made by Google team which is the same team behind the Pixel phones and other devices like the Google Home and Google Home Mini.
This seemed to cause a little bit of confusion among the community and those interested in the Android tablet market. According to Google’s Rick Osterloh, confirming that it was only Google’s hardware division who would no longer be making tablets for the future of the market, both the teams behind Android and Chrome OS are fully committed to future devices.
Specifically Osterloh states that the Android and Chrome OS teams are 100-percent committed to working with Google’s partners on the tablet market and on future devices. The statement is pretty plain as day; There will still be tablets coming to market that run on Android and Chrome OS, they just won’t be made by Google and will instead be made by manufacturer partners like Samsung, Acer, and others.
Osterloh doesn’t go into too much detail beyond this point, so there’s nothing to read into in terms of what any new devices may be, but it’s a bit of a reassurance that there will still be tablets on these two platforms to look forward to from other companies.
New tablet devices will be coming to consumer, education, and enterprise segments, not just one or the other. When those devices are on the horizon and close to a launch, or after they’ve at least been announced for that matter, those details will be coming specifically from the manufacturer that will be making them.
While Google’s last tablet device was the Pixel Slate, the device wasn’t as well-received as some probably thought it would be. It was fairly expensive and not nearly as attainable by the majority of people who likely wanted a tablet in the first place, which may have had some part to play in why Google won’t be focusing on tablets any longer and will instead focus its efforts on laptops and other hardware.
That being said, just because Google is no longer going to make tablets doesn’t mean it will be stopping its focus on the Pixel Slate. Osterloh reassures users that the Pixel Slate will continue to receive long-term support, so if you already have one of these devices then you’ll still get software updates for as long as Google has usually sent out updates for devices over their lifetime.
So while users can say goodbye to the Pixel Slate 2 it seems, the original model will still be getting new software for at least the next year along with additional updates to the security so it continues to meet Google’s standards for data security and privacy. That being said, the Pixel Slate released near the end of last year, so there’s probably a little longer than one year left on its update life cycle.