Google's Chromebook Pixel ends up another F for Alphabet

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited March 1
In a meeting with journalists at Mobile World Congress, Google's senior Vice President of hardware Rick Osterloh reportedly described the "end of the line" for the company's premium notebook bearing the Pixel brand, after shipping just two editions of the product since 2013.


Google's Chromebook Pixel


In a report by Frederic Lardinois for TechCrunch, Osterloh was cited as saying that Google has "no plans" for future laptops. The company continues to sell its Pixel C tablet and its Pixel-branded phone built by HTC.

Chromebook Pixel and its Pixel 2 successor attempted to sell higher end laptop hardware running the company's ChromeOS, which is a version of Linux running the Chrome web browser--capable of only hosting rich web apps, not native software.

The models were first introduced in early 2013, using Intel Core i5 processors and SSD storage similar to Apple's MacBook Air. At the Pixel's introduction, AppleInsider wrote that "Chromebook Pixel is just the latest step by Google in what appears to be a larger quest to establish itself as a hardware company."In 2013: "Chromebook Pixel is just the latest step by Google in what appears to be a larger quest to establish itself as a hardware company."

Google paired the machines with 1TB of free storage (for three years, which is effectively expiring as the products are discontinued), as well as other features that pundits have asked Apple to follow, including a touch screen display.

Today, however, Lardinois writes that Google "never intended to sell in high numbers" and that "Pixel was always meant to be aspirational," describing it as "the first hardware device that showed that Google could build vertically integrated devices that could compete with the likes of Apple," even though Pixel make it clear that Google could not, in fact, compete with Apple.

However, Google did compete with Apple's advertising. Its introduction of the Chromebook Pixel forced Apple to stop describing its 13 inch MacBook Pro as being the "highest resolution notebook" of the time back in 2013.

Apple went thin, Pixel went home

Google updated the Chromebook Pixel in March 2015 with faster processors and early support for the new USB-C connector, although those models did not support the much faster Thunderbolt 3 connectivity found in the latest MacBook Pro models with USB-C ports, making the port change largely just change for the sake of change.

Since the Pixel's discontinuation, Apple has taken its MacBook Pro line into more premium territory with new extremely light and thin models that boast desktop-class, flexible connectivity via Thunderbolt 3, ultra fast PCIe storage, a Wide Color display, immersive stereo speakers and a dynamic Touch Bar.


MacBook Pro with Touch Bar


Enthusiasm for the new models--stoked by pent up demand--helped Apple reach a new peak in Mac sales during the December quarter.

Below $1,000, Apple has focused on sales of its iPad Pro line, which is rumored to be updated later this month. Google's Pixel C tablet exists in the same space, although rather than running ChromeOS, it ships with Android.

Google is reportedly working on plans to eventually replace Android with a new version of ChromeOS with the ability to host Android apps in addition to web apps running in the Chrome browser.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 26,173member
    Google commits to their hardware very, very lightly. They can't seem to really put some muscle and marketing into anything beyond their bread and butter advertising.
    lostkiwijbdragonwatto_cobraredgeminipastantheman
  • Reply 2 of 41
    No kidding. Who'd pay $1,000 for a "high-end" Chromebook than runs inferior Chrome Apps?
    calichiaandrewj5790lostkiwijbdragonmagman1979indyfxbaconstangwatto_cobraredgeminipa
  • Reply 3 of 41
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,703member
    Google will NEVER be a major hardware manufacturer. They didn't learn from Apple's mistake when it licensed Mac OS back in the day. Apple got creamed by third party manufacturers making clones. Like Microsoft, Google's 'open' operating system means anybody can make Chromebooks faster and cheaper than Google can make its own hardware. Same goes for their smartphone. Sure, a few Google fanatics will buy them just because it has the Google logo on it but most will go with third party OEMs. And Google can't take Android or ChromeOS proprietary. It's way too late for that. Only Apple gets to go that route.
    cyberzombiecalilostkiwilolliverpscooter63repressthisjbdragonradarthekatmagman1979adm1
  • Reply 4 of 41
    rob53rob53 Posts: 1,488member
    Sounds like Google engages in "mixed reality" as well. 
    caliiqatedolostkiwilolliverrepressthismagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 41
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 55member
    Wow, that's one more edition since 2013 than Mac Pro... :) Google is fickle with hardware.
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 6 of 41
    I would say the writing is on the wall for the Pixel phone as well. With only about 3 million units sold last quarter that is nowhere near iPhone territory. 
    lostkiwicalijbdragonbaconstangnetmagewatto_cobraredgeminipastanthemanequality72521
  • Reply 7 of 41
    thedbathedba Posts: 369member

    Today, however, Lardinois writes that Google "never intended to sell in high numbers" and that "Pixel was always meant to be aspirational," describing it as "the first hardware device that showed that Google could build vertically integrated devices that could compete with the likes of Apple," even though Pixel make it clear that Google could not, in fact, compete with Apple.

    Gotta love that line above. 
    Maybe they're employing the same strategy with their Pixel phone. Never meant to sell in high numbers. 
    Wonder how Vlad Savov and other Verge writers explain this?
    jdunysEsquireCatsStrangeDayslostkiwipatchythepiratecalirepressthismagman1979watto_cobraredgeminipa
  • Reply 8 of 41
    mtbnutmtbnut Posts: 151member
    Do Google majority shareholders trade using real money? If Apple releases an AC adapter that isn't to their investors' liking, they revolt; Google, on the other hand, releases turd after turd...and crickets.

     
    EsquireCatscalirepressthismagman1979baconstangsmiffy31watto_cobraredgeminipaequality72521
  • Reply 9 of 41
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 4,694member
    thedba said:

    Today, however, Lardinois writes that Google "never intended to sell in high numbers" and that "Pixel was always meant to be aspirational," describing it as "the first hardware device that showed that Google could build vertically integrated devices that could compete with the likes of Apple," even though Pixel make it clear that Google could not, in fact, compete with Apple.

    Gotta love that line above. 
    Maybe they're employing the same strategy with their Pixel phone. Never meant to sell in high numbers. 
    Wonder how Vlad Savov and other Verge writers explain this?
    That's Google's excuse for every single one of their failed products. It was just meant as a "template", "never meant to sell in great numbers" even though they advertise the hell out of it. Everyone knows it's bullshit, except the Google sycophants. Google thought they could "compete" with Apple in the laptop space by aping their design and throwing their shit OS on it. Right.
    StrangeDayslostkiwilolliverpscooter63patchythepiratecalirepressthisjbdragonmagman1979brakken
  • Reply 10 of 41
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,361member
    I'm sure if their notebooks had more user-swappable parts this could have been avoided, right??
    caliai46pscooter63adm1watto_cobraredgeminipastantheman
  • Reply 11 of 41
    lmagoolmagoo Posts: 48member
    I would buy a thing with Google's/Alphabet's name on it...same could be said of Samsung...I think their Enginerring teams got their degrees from a Cracker Jacks box...
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 41
    AI_lias said:
    Wow, that's one more edition since 2013 than Mac Pro... :) Google is fickle with hardware.
    Google released two versions of Chromebook Pixel

    Over the same period, Apple released Early 2013, Late 2013, Mid 2014, and the Early 2015 & Mid 2015 models, and then released the completely new Late 2016 MPBs. 
    sockrolidlolliverpscooter63chiacalirepressthisai46jbdragonradarthekatmagman1979
  • Reply 13 of 41
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,498member
    The first rule of race-to-the-bottom markets:

    There is no profitable high-end market for a computing device that uses an OS that is also offered in low-end competing models.

    The experience of both Microsoft and Apple proved this more than a decade ago.  It is baffling why tech execs still persist in battering their heads and stockholders' money against this established fact.
    sockrolidrepressthisjbdragonradarthekatmagman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 41
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,750member

    Google is reportedly working on plans to eventually replace Android with a new version of ChromeOS with the ability to host Android apps in addition to web apps running in the Chrome browser.
    Good luck with that.
    pscooter63watto_cobraredgeminipa
  • Reply 15 of 41
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,498member
    thedba said:

    Today, however, Lardinois writes that Google "never intended to sell in high numbers" and that "Pixel was always meant to be aspirational," describing it as "the first hardware device that showed that Google could build vertically integrated devices that could compete with the likes of Apple," even though Pixel make it clear that Google could not, in fact, compete with Apple.

    Gotta love that line above. 
    Maybe they're employing the same strategy with their Pixel phone. Never meant to sell in high numbers. 
    Wonder how Vlad Savov and other Verge writers explain this?
    Yeah, that's an embarrassing quote.  It sure did prove that Google could build "vertically integrated devices that could compete with the likes of Apple" if and only if cost is no object, losses don't count, and commercial sales of one unit is deemed to signal market acceptance.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
    lolliverrepressthisjbdragonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 41
    Google is kind of gross at this point. Ever since they ripped everything Apple was doing to launch Android they don't seem to have any direction at all. Just a million things that no one really cares about and no one pays for. They best keep selling ads. That works out for them OK...
    patchythepiratecalijbdragonradarthekatmagman1979baconstangwatto_cobraredgeminipaStrangeDaysequality72521
  • Reply 17 of 41
    How does Chromebook Pixel differ from the Chromebook models that we hear have sold well to schools over the past few years?
    repressthiswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 41
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,479member
    slurpy said:
    thedba said:

    Today, however, Lardinois writes that Google "never intended to sell in high numbers" and that "Pixel was always meant to be aspirational," describing it as "the first hardware device that showed that Google could build vertically integrated devices that could compete with the likes of Apple," even though Pixel make it clear that Google could not, in fact, compete with Apple.

    Gotta love that line above. 
    Maybe they're employing the same strategy with their Pixel phone. Never meant to sell in high numbers. 
    Wonder how Vlad Savov and other Verge writers explain this?
    That's Google's excuse for every single one of their failed products. It was just meant as a "template", "never meant to sell in great numbers" even though they advertise the hell out of it. Everyone knows it's bullshit, except the Google sycophants. Google thought they could "compete" with Apple in the laptop space by aping their design and throwing their shit OS on it. Right.
    But don't you think their way of expressing sour grapes is kind of cute?
    watto_cobraredgeminipa
  • Reply 19 of 41
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 117member
    tundraboy said:
    thedba said:

    Today, however, Lardinois writes that Google "never intended to sell in high numbers" and that "Pixel was always meant to be aspirational," describing it as "the first hardware device that showed that Google could build vertically integrated devices that could compete with the likes of Apple," even though Pixel make it clear that Google could not, in fact, compete with Apple.

    Gotta love that line above. 
    Maybe they're employing the same strategy with their Pixel phone. Never meant to sell in high numbers. 
    Wonder how Vlad Savov and other Verge writers explain this?
    Yeah, that's an embarrassing quote.  It sure did prove that Google could build "vertically integrated devices that could compete with the likes of Apple" if and only if cost is no object, losses don't count, and commercial sales of one unit is deemed to signal market acceptance.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha.
    Yeah, that quote doesn't make sense. They start making a hardware line just to see if they can but never plan on continuing it long term? What kind of business strategy is that?
    watto_cobraredgeminipa
  • Reply 20 of 41
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,224member
    How does Chromebook Pixel differ from the Chromebook models that we hear have sold well to schools over the past few years?
    Because of price.  Schools are going to be buying the cheap chromebooks.  Google on the other hand were trying to price theirs like a Mac.  The same thing they're trying to do now with phones. Trying to price them like a iPhone.  Might as well as they copied so much.  Problem is all this time Google and everyone else is advertising Android as the cheap devices.  How can they then turn around and try to price them higher at this point in time?. Suu they don't sell.  Android devices at this point are pretty much a commodity.  Razer tub profits to losing money.  There is very little money to be made making and selling Android or chromebook hardware.  The real only winner is Google on the software side of things.  Services and ad's.  

    Slapping a pixel name on it and trying to charge Apple prices when everyone knows it's really just a newer nexus device is not fooling many people.

    baconstangwatto_cobraredgeminipa
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