Google has confirmed rumours that it is exiting its Android tablet hardware business to focus on Chromebook laptops, with Rick Osterloh, head of Google’s hardware business, tweeting:
Hey, it's true…Google's HARDWARE team will be solely focused on building laptops moving forward, but make no mistake, Android & Chrome OS teams are 100% committed for the long-run on working with our partners on tablets for all segments of the market (consumer, enterprise, edu)
— Rick Osterloh (@rosterloh) June 20, 2019
Google has also cancelled two follow-ups to the Pixel Slate, but will continue to produce further Pixelbook laptops.
While Google has promised to continue supporting Android OEMs, Android on tablets has always been the redheaded stepchild of tablet operating systems, and Google’s own vote against the platform will certainly leave Android tablet OEMs with less confidence in the development of the market.
Google has reportedly been working on a new operating system for tablets and laptops which is based more on ChromeOS than Android, and with the sudden departure of Google from the tablet arena one wonders of all is well with that project.