While many consumers are familiar with the Apple iPad or the Microsoft Surface, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) tablets don’t quite measure up. This tech giant has tried again and again with the Nexus and the Pixel, but has not made any headway in the field.
Google took a few years off from its tablet business in 2015, only to try again last year. Google took a second swing at tablets with Chrome OS and the Pixel Slate. Yet again, Google was faced with significant issues with its tablets.
According to a recent report from Computerworld, Google is stepping away from its self-made tablets and is instead focusing on laptops. Essentially, Google is quitting the tablet business and this was confirmed by Google Hardware senior vice president Rick Osterloh on Twitter.
One of the main problems with this most recent generation of tablets was its Chrome OS. While this OS had been around on laptops for some time, its port into the tablet OS was poorly implemented. Some common problems experienced by users were a buggy split-screen implementation, poor performance, and a weird user interface (UI) that used a full-screen mode in tablet form but allowed normal window operation in laptop mode, among other issues.
Another reason holding back Google’s Pixel Slate was the price point. The entry-level Intel Celeron-equipped model, priced at $599 (with 4GB of RAM) and $699 (with 8GB), was a complete disaster. According to ARSTechnica:
It was so slow and so thoroughly panned in reviews that it was never made readily available by Google, and it was eventually cancelled altogether. That made the first readily-available Pixel Slate the $799 Intel Core M3 model, which was already the price of an iPad Pro but without the iPad Pro’s high-end performance. From there, the Pixel Slate price rocketed up to $999 and $1,599 for the faster, more iPad-competitive models.
Although Google is stepping away from its tablet business, it will still be servicing customers for software related to the tablet. Also, Google will continue on in its laptop business despite this setback in tablets.
Shares of Alphabet were last seen up about 0.5% at $1,116.66, with a 52-week range of $970.11 to $1,289.27. The consensus analyst price target is $1,275.00.