Saturday, 23 March, 2019

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

Google is reportedly cutting back on hardware, moving some workers to new jobs Report: Google Pulling Engineers, Managers From Tablet and Laptop...
Katie Ramirez | 14 March, 2019, 06:28

Over the past few years, Google has been pushing deeper into the hardware business with products like the Pixelbook, Pixel Slate, multiple Google Homes, and of course, Pixel phones, with the latter getting a big boost thanks to Google's $1.1 billion (£820 million) acquisition of tech and personnel from HTC last year. Members of the Create team are said to be eyeing positions at the Pixel team and other Alphabet companies.

A Google spokesperson declined Business Insider's request for comment.

To be clear, the employee-shifting that's been reported seems to be concentrated for now within Google's tablet and laptop teams.

Since its introduction in 2016, the Made by Google initiative has led to a number of successful products ranging from smartphones to smart speakers.

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The "roadmap pushout", as one source familiar with the matter described the move to Business Insider, raises questions about the extent of Google's commitment to building its own line of laptops and tablets, a fiercely competitive market with thin razor profit margins.

Manufacturing jobs have reportedly not been affected which implies that Google is only reassessing its plans for future products and the near-term devices will be launched as per plans. But with the Pixel C limited to running stock Android instead of Chrome OS like you get on more modern Google-based convertibles, and equipped with a buggy and often uncomfortable keyboard, the Pixel C was ill-prepared at the time to go up against competing products like the Surface 3. The Pixelbook, like the Chromebook Pixel before it, is just a high-end Chrome OS laptop. The report says that Google had "a bunch of stuff in the works" that now probably won't see the light of day.

Rumors of a Pixelbook 2 have been swirling since the company's hardware event last October though it has yet to be released.

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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