The Pixel C tablet – if you even remember what that is – is no longer available, according to the Google store website. In its place is this:
As is common when a device has been out for a few years, we’re now retiring Pixel C and it is no longer available for sale. However, we are committed to updating and supporting it, including the recent update to Android 8.0, so customers can continue to get the best out of their device. Our newly launched Google Pixelbook combines the best parts of a laptop and a tablet for those looking for a versatile device.
And that’s Google’s quiet exit from tablet market, apparently. They’re obviously promoting the Pixelbook instead, which means they’re going to focus more on the Chromebooks market, which has been quite lucrative for them despite the barrage of Windows 10 2-in-1 devices that have flooded the market.
The biggest problem Google faces with respect to the tablet format – or even on Chromebooks for that matter – is Android apps. Google has tried everything to get developers to modify their apps for larger screen formats, but to no avail.
In addition, they’ve tried to integrate the Play Store into Chromebooks and even put out an update for better keyboard input integration for Android apps, but there’s little to show for all the pains they took. Again, the problem is with how Android apps behave on larger screens with different input types like a keyboard and mouse.
These and other attempts by Google to bring Android to the desktop market have largely been a failed exercise. And now they’re publicly – if only quietly – admitting that there’s just no place in the tablet ecosystem for Pixel devices.
That said, however, Pixel smartphones are still gaining market share in this very crowded segment. Even though its market share in October 2017, one year after its launch, was only a paltry 0.7% in the United States, a report yesterday showed that Pixel 2 smartphones outsold (counted by the number of new activations) both iPhone X and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 8 over the Christmas weekend.
Google isn’t going to quit the devices market any time soon. They’ve already committed a tremendous amount of resources towards having a robust hardware portfolio. Their direction might have shifted a little with the demise of Pixel C tablets, but they’re in the hardware game for the long run.
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