Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Uh Oh, Looks Like Google's Hardware Team Might Be in Trouble

Uh Oh, Looks Like Google's Hardware Team Might Be in Trouble

On the tablet side, however, things might get a bit messy since Google Pixel Slate didn't receive all the love even from enthusiasts.

This assumption is supported by internal sources who stated that, prior to the recent cutbacks, Create had a "bunch of stuff in the works" but will now focus primarily on finishing its near-term projects. Already, these "floating" employees have been seeking roles within the company's smartphone division, Pixel, and other Alphabet companies, sources say.

According to Business Insider, Google is now in the process of implementing a number of "roadmap cutbacks". These changes have reportedly been prompted by cancellation of projects within the laptop and tablet division. Other divisions within the company's hardware product area (known internally as HWPA) include Pixel (for smartphones), Home (for smart home devices, including Nest), and Wearables. Since the market is insanely competitive and margins are low, it seems Google decided that perhaps it would be best to concentrate its efforts on its products that are doing well for now.

The Pixelbook raised eyebrows at its launch, given its high-cost (starting at $999) relative to its limited capabilities (the Pixelbook is a Chromebook, meaning it runs on Google's Chrome OS software and is only capable of using internet-based applications).

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Following the Pixel C came the Pixelbook, which was widely regarded as one of the best, most luxurious Chromebooks ever made. This would suggest that Google has only canceled long-term products and has the intention of completing its near-term devices. The tablet is, well, a Google tablet, and as usual, it debuted to a lukewarm reception. The Pixel Slate was a weird Chrome OS tablet with a detachable keyboard, made as a competitor to the Microsoft Surface and Apple iPad Pro.

That said, while Google appears to be slowing down its hardware release plans, it doesn't seem to be giving up on making gadgets altogether.

Downsizing its laptop and tablet division comes nearly three years after Google unified its hardware efforts under the leadership of Osterloh.

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