Google is giving up on tablets, cancels two unreleased products

The iPad has been leading the tablet industry for many, many years. And while companies like Google have tried their hand at changing that, Apple’s tablet lineup continues to reign supreme. So much so, it looks like Google is giving up on tablets altogether.

Google has confirmed with Computerworld that it is giving up on tablets for the foreseeable future. Not only that, but this decision actually led to the cancellation of two tablets that were in development. Google’s last tablet was the Pixel Slate, which it launched back in 2018. However, it sounds like the company was originally planning on launching two new tablets in the near future, but has decided to cancel them and abandon tablet plans.

Google’s not done with hardware completely, though. While the company is basically giving up on tablets, it will instead put that focus on laptops. So the Pixelbook, a 2-in-1 convertible device, will probably keep getting updates in the future. The original report states that Google classifies a tablet as a device with a detachable keyboard, or a device that doesn’t have a physical keyboard at all.

But, what about the products that were coming down the pipe? The original report explains:

As for the cast-aside tablets, the only details we know for sure are that they were smaller in size, compared to Google’s existing products, and that they were standalone slates without keyboards. They weren’t even far enough along in their development to have names beyond the codenames used for internal reference. So ultimately, what we’re saying here is that Google was working on some stuff that it hadn’t discussed publicly, and it’s now decided to move away from those projects.

The report also says that Google suggests a new Pixelbook could be announced before the end of 2019. So while tablets aren’t on Google’s radar anymore, it sounds like something beyond new Pixel smartphones will be announced later this year.

As for the reasons behind Google’s decision to stop making tablets? That remains a mystery at this point. The easy suggestion is that competing with Apple in this space isn’t the easiest thing to do, and perhaps Google just doesn’t want to keep going up to bat without any real products to get them on base.

Plus, the iPad lineup, especially the iPad Pro, is going to get even better with the incoming release of iPadOS. Apple announced this new branch of iOS earlier this year at the latest Worldwide Developers Conference, which gives even more power to the iPad lineup. That includes new features like mouse support, a better-equipped and desktop-like browsing experience with Safari, and much more.

Still, pour one out for Google’s tablet lineup.