Google gives up on tablets: Android P marks an end to its ambitious efforts to take on App...

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Back at the beginning of 2010, Google felt quite confident that its Android platform would crush Apple's iPhone in the same way Microsoft Windows had marginalized Mac sales into relative obscurity with 2 percent market share in the late 1990s. However, Apple changed the game by launching another new iOS product: iPad. It split Google's focus and demonstrated that Android as a platform couldn't turn a bunch of commodity PC and phone makers into an innovative, creative challenge to Apple. Eight years later, Google appears ready to give up on tablets entirely.


Google's two year old Pixel C is discontinued and is not supported in the next Android P


Google's upcoming Android P release drops support for Pixel C, the company's last effort at building an Android tablet. While it once appeared that Google wanted to ditch Android and move to its web browser based ChromeOS, the termination of its last Android tablet follows Google's discontinuation last summer of Chromebook Pixel, the premium-priced laptop running ChromeOS.Google failed to make a dent in Apple's iPad business despite trying longer and harder than Microsoft's Zune attempt to rival iPods

Android P also drops support for all remaining Nexus branded devices. In fact, the next Android release only supports Google's last two batches of Pixel phones--which themselves did not sell well--indicating a rather dramatic scaling back of what was once supposed to be a vast array of hardware expanding into new directions to tackle Apple at every turn.

While things like Chromebooks and Nexus Player TV boxes were launched as experiments, Google's efforts to build a self-branded tablet (both to rival Apple's iPad and to show its own Android licensees how to build a good tablet) was always presented as a serious, strategic effort to conquer Apple's second largest iOS franchise.

Here's a look at why Google failed to make a dent in Apple's iPad business despite trying longer and harder than Microsoft's Zune attempt to rival iPods.

Pre iPad: the doe-eyed Android Honeymoon

By the time Steve Jobs appeared on stage in early 2010 to debut Apple's new iPad for Post PC computing, Google had yet to deliver a big hardware flop. Android had only just made its mainstream appearance a little over a year earlier on the HTC-built T-Mobile G1. There was nothing but bold teenage optimism surrounding Android's adolescence; Google felt fearlessly bulletproof despite the awkwardness and blemishes that were occurring as Android began to mature. Everything looked rosy.


As Android took off on phones, Steve Jobs launched the next big thing: iPad


Across 2009, a series of other phone makers had introduced their own new Android-based handsets working across a range of mobile carriers, representing a promise to deliver a wide set of open, configurable and innovative new form and feature ideas in contrast to Apple's singular iconic iPhone that only worked on GSM networks, including its exclusive availability on AT&T in the U.S.

All of the established vendors that had been lined up behind Microsoft's struggling Windows Mobile platform seemed willing to try using Android. In fact, Google's first partner HTC had previously been building the majority of all Windows Mobile phones. It was like a nerd fantasy come true: the Year of Linux on the Desktop PC had never quite made it out of the dream stage, but here was Google putting its weight behind an open development platform running Linux on a critical mass of mobile devices!

iPad disrupts the party

Apple's new iPad suddenly confused everything. For some Mac users, it didn't seem like it could be powerful enough to serve as a computer. Market researchers immediately branded it as a "media consumption device" in a desperate effort to avoid any comparison with PC sales and to disavow any potential for it disrupting sales of Windows PCs, despite their having spent the previous couple years preaching the gospel that cheap, ultralow-end netbook PCs would certainly eat up sales of Macs.

Yet despite waves of media contempt citing certain users' disgruntlement, a deluge of market research white papers explaining that iPad wasn't a real computer, and thunderous umbrage from Adobe expressing outrage over iPad's lack of support for its proprietary Flash content (all of which sounded virtually identical to the themes in this year's launch of HomePod), real world users voted for iPad with their billions of dollars.

By the end of 2010, Apple had sold nearly 14 million iPads at around $500 each in just three quarters. That's three times as many "what's it for?" tablets as Google was able to sell in Pixel smartphones in all of last year. It was also more tablets than Microsoft's Tablet PC initiative had ever sold over the past decade of trying to deliver Bill Gates' fantasy of a Windows laptop with a pen, itself a suspicious copy of Apple's original Newton MessagePad from 1994 (which also didn't find any critical mass of buyers).By the end of 2010, Apple had sold nearly 14 million iPads at around $500 each

But somehow, iPad sales were happening and were clearly accelerating, inducing a demand for tablet-specific iPad apps. The next year Apple would sell 40 million tablets, beyond even the most optimistic projections.

Everyone wanted in on this action. Microsoft had already rushed out a Slate PC flop with HP and was scrambling to scale out of that pit. It would be another two years before Microsoft introduced Surface RT, its next tablet category flop.

It wasn't just Microsoft that was scrambling. Palm, which had seen its own Palm OS handsets similarly embarrassed by the iPhone, had rushed together a new webOS platform, paired with a flagship Pre phone that itself was flailing in the market. And now iPad was gaining attention. HP attempted to reverse its Slate PC embarrassment by acquiring Palm and turning its software into a TouchPad iPad rival, but that didn't work out either.

Blackberry similarly rushed together a new BB10 platform it expected to rival iPad. In fact, rather than focusing on making it work on a handset, BlackBerry debuted it first on the PlayBook, a mini tablet it hoped to sell to businesses before Apple could take over the category.

2011: Google launches Android Honeycomb tablets from major partners

Google, with all the confidence of Android's initial, surprising two years of handset growth from virtually zero, similarly rushed together a tablet platform it expected to similarly power a range of third-party devices.


Android 3.0 Honeycomb focused exclusively on tablets, delaying smartphone features


That effort was launched in 2011 with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, a release that (similar to BB10) delayed Android's smartphone updates in order to attack Apple's brand new iPad growth and the emergence of tablet-optimized apps.

Strangely enough, however, Google's Honeycomb tablets copied more of the losing strategies of Windows Tablet PC rather than following the successful route Apple had pioneered for iPad.

After third-party Android Honeycomb tablets from HP, Samsung and Motorola all embarrassingly flopped in the market, Google decided it would have to show its licensees how to build Android tablets the same way it had previously launched its own Nexus-branded handsets aimed at delivering its Pure Android vision of what a smartphone should be.

At the same time, Google's hubris that allowed it to launch Honeycomb as unfinished software running on unfinished hardware also prompted it to prematurely launch Android@Home, a home automation project it billed as "the operating system for your home," at least until it canceled it the next year. Google was rapidly burning up any reputation for understanding the market and competently partnering with third parties to deliver unintegrated products that were superior to what Apple's closed development structure was creating

The previous fall it had also launched Google TV, an Android-based TV platform featuring Google Chrome browser, in partnership with Sony and Logitech hardware. It aimed to muscle into set top box market of Apple TV. It too failed so miserably it nearly put Logitech out of business.

Even so, at the end of 2011, Google's then Chairman Eric Schmidt unrealistically bragged, "by the summer of 2012, the majority of the televisions you see in stores will have Google TV embedded in it."

Google was rapidly burning up any reputation for understanding the market and competently partnering with third parties to deliver unintegrated products that were superior to what Apple's closed development structure was creating.

It was also becoming increasingly clear that Apple's integration and limited focus--its ability to say no--was enabling it to deliver a few very strong hits, in contrast to the broad, unfocused scattershot of flops Google was blowing out.

2012: Google Nexus 7 flubs its cheap tablet trick

In 2012 Google introduced its first self-branded model of what it though tablet buyers wanted in the Asus-built Nexus 7, a very low-priced mini tablet. The "Pure Android" tablet incorporated support for various Google strategies of the day including Google Wallet's NFC (but not functional Bluetooth 4, as Apple had started supporting in 2011), and Google Now, the company's answer to Siri.

The tablet won many awards and critic recommendations, but was poorly built and riddled with problems that rendered it completely defective for many users within the first year.

Nexus 7
Despite eggregious software flaws and hardware problems, two generations of Nexus 7 were praised for being crazy cheap


The next year Google introduced a refreshed Nexus 7, but it too was plagued with a variety of serious issues. Reports of "faulty" GPS, "buggy" multitouch, "jittery" scrolling and an ecosystem that "still lags iOS" weren't enough to stop Google's refreshed Nexus 7 from getting a stellar review from the Verge on par with Apple's iPad mini. Joshua Topolsky actually wrote that "Google's Nexus 7 isn't just an excellent tablet for $200. It's an excellent tablet, period," despite the tablet being just as much of a turd as its predecessor.

2014: Google Nexus 9 copies iPad mini at a premium price

In 2014 Google dropped its low-cost, mini tablet strategy entirely and produced a product virtually identical to Apple's iPad mini, at a similarly premium price. The Nexus 9 puzzled Android pundits who had been promoting the idea that Google's low-end, cheap hardware was a great deal for buyers, and that being different from Apple was an advantage, not a liability.

Part of the allure of the HTC-built Nexus 9 was its use of the NVIDIA "Denver" Tegra K1 chip. It had been the subject of much hype, particularly since Apple had been leapfrogging other vendors in the mobile processor arena. Yet despite lofty expectations, the K1-driven Nexus 9 fell behind Apple's A8X-powered iPad Air 2, even before considering that there were really not many tablet-optimized apps the Nexus 9 could run.


Google's HTC-built Nexus 9 shifted gears to copy Apple's iPad mini size and display ratio, with a similar price


The commercially insignificant numbers of tablets Google was able to sell using its own Nexus branding were not going to singlehandedly fund the development of mobile tablet processors. Apple was selling $30 billion of iPads every year, making it very worthwhile to drive the expensive, custom development of high-end A-series chips. Apple was also sharing its development costs for iPad chips with mass volumes of iPhone sales.

Neither Google nor NVIDIA were selling large volumes of tablets or phones; NVIDIA had even pulled out of building chips for the smartphone market entirely, greatly reducing the addressable market for amortizing the expense of developing new Tegra chips.

2015: Google gives Android tablets a last shot with Pixel C

Nexus 9 was a poor seller and was discontinued in a year and a half as Google switched its focus to a new product at the end of 2015: Pixel C. Rather than copying iPad mini, the Pixel C took aim at Apple's full-sized, more expensive iPad Air 2, demanding a similar premium price and again confounding the media narrative that Google was graciously supporting Android just to give everyone nearly free things.

Despite being priced like an iPad, Pixel C was hobbled by Android's poor support for tablet hardware and the platform's paltry pickings for tablet-optimized apps. It too was a poor seller, doing nothing for NVIDIA's latest X1 chip.

In 2016, Google moved its house-branded smartphones from the Nexus name to Pixel, after dumping its Nexus 9 tablet and the short-lived Nexus Player set top box. But it did not introduce new Pixel C tablet hardware. Last year, Pixel phones were again refreshed without a tablet partner.


First, and now last, tablet built by Google


When Google released Android Oreo last year, it introduced "Treble" a new OS feature that draws a separation between the low-level drivers related to fragmented hardware and the core OS above it. This modular design makes it easier to update higher level Android software across a wider range of devices. However, this requires support from hardware makers to enable Treble on their hardware.

Notably, Google did not support Treble on the Nexus 5x, 6P or Pixel C, a hint that indicated that it didn't plan to continue supporting its products, even after building the mechanism to do this. With Android P, Google is now wiping away any memory of the failed stabs Google took at selling tablets.

Android's bleak tablet future

Google's failure to sell tablets isn't just the fault of lacking Apple's scale or relying on third parties to build its processors and to develop the outline of its hardware. It has also failed to develop a market for tablet-specific Android apps, instead relying on developers to simply stretch their smartphone apps into tablet-sized screens. That strategy was already an obvious problem back in the days of Nexus 7 hardware, when the cheapness of the device allowed buyers to shrug off its limited utility.


Apple's Phil Schiller depicts the difference between iPad-optimized apps and stretched Android phone apps on a tablet


However, as Google has resorted to charging Apple-like prices, buyers' expectations have risen dramatically. Google's lack of investment in high performance processors, in tablet apps and in other areas (such as support for the needs of enterprise users) has neutered its potential for jumping back into the game in the future.

And without any first-hand experience in building its own tablets going forward, it's unclear how Google will be able to support licensees in building Android tablets that can compete against Apple's iPad and iPad Pro, particularly in targeting professionals and the enterprise, given how poorly Samsung, HTC, Acer and others have been at producing profitable, attractive tablets even with the help of Google and Microsoft.

Last fall Google unveiled its Pixelbook, a $1,000 conventional Intel Core i5-based notebook running ChromeOS, with a stylus but no tablet functionality. It faces competition from Microsoft Surface line and a range of other PCs, as well as Apple's iPads and MacBooks. Yet the majority of established PC makers are stuck at low product volumes. Despite all the press it gets, Surface sells in minor volumes significantly below Apple Watch, and the PC industry has not been growing for several years.

In contrast to flat and falling PCs and generic tablets, Apple's iPad sales are growing. In the last quarter, it earned $5.8 billion selling just over 13 million units. Across 2017 it sold 43.8 million (in IDC figures), putting it in first place globally and making iPads a quarter of all tablet devices sold--even when mixing in "detachables" and "slates." Google can deny it has given up on tablets, but imagine the headlines if Apple discontinued all of its iPads and stopped supporting them in the next iOS

Samsung shipped just over half as many tablets, but its sales have slipped significantly year-over-year as Apple's have grown. The third largest tablet shipper is Amazon, which shipped 16.7 million tablets last year, largely as loss leaders to drive shopping in parallel with Alexa Echo hardware.

The top two Android tablet vendors are notable in that they are bucking Google's control of the Android platform. Amazon tablets run a different Android fork called FireOS that doesn't bundle Google services and has its own browser.

Google may try to start over in tablets using ChromeOS, a platform that hasn't done anything outside of acting as a loss leader in U.S. education. But at this point, it's been over two years since Google even introduced a new tablet of its own, and its last Pixel C was discontinued in December. Google can deny it has given up on tablets, but imagine the headlines if Apple discontinued all of its iPads and stopped supporting them in the next iOS.

Quite incredibly, Google tablets have clearly gone the way of Google TV, Google Glass, Chromebook Pixel, Nexus Player and Android Wear.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    When Apple has grown even more, and plays the endgame of ‘winner takes al’, and the very ethical Tim Cook has retired, what will this humongous organization do with all its power? Whenever I buy Apple stuff, and I really own a lot these days, this question haunts me at night. 
    gatorguyairnerdracerhomie3dysamoriawatto_cobrajony0argonaut
  • Reply 2 of 84
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,457member
    When Apple has grown even more, and plays the endgame of ‘winner takes al’, and the very ethical Tim Cook has retired, what will this humongous organization do with all its power? Whenever I buy Apple stuff, and I really own a lot these days, this question haunts me at night. 
    The good news is when that day comes, Gatorguy will switch sides ;)
    cutykamumaestro64RonnnieOmwhitestanthemanlkruppmagman1979macseekerjbdragonchia
  • Reply 3 of 84
    thedbathedba Posts: 443member
    Another point many forget is how every pundit and their grandmother was deriding the iPad for having a 4:3 aspect ratio. How it was not great for viewing movies etc.

    Now all you get is crickets chirping when asked about Android and Windows tablet aspect ratio. Guess it’s natural evolution or something. 

    For a good laugh, try reading this little gem I came across, explaining why Android makers switched to 4:3 ratio. Do this away from any hot liquids like coffee or tea.

    http://www.tested.com/tech/android/467213-why-android-tablets-are-finally-going-43-screen-ratios/

    From the article. 
    Why is now the time for mainstream Android to go 4:3? Why not two or three years ago? Frankly, it's because Android won.

    Now try not to laugh. 

    cutykamuretrogustotmaymagman1979Bluntlordjohnwhorfinedredpatchythepiratemacky the mackyStrangeDays
  • Reply 4 of 84
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 532member
    Google/Android lacks corporate direction, they lack leadership.  This article sums it up perfectly.  They are always looking to play catch up, to try to find something that can fill the gap between them and a competitor, and they are quick to sell something and then drop it.  I posted a few weeks ago about firing up my iPhone 4S for the first time in years.  After updating to iOS9 it flies around apps on wifi pretty quickly, I was amazed.  Gave it to my 6 year old to play on.  he also has my old original iPad Mini that he still plays games like Madden 17 and streams youtube Kids on without a problem.  I didn't expect the ipad to last this long and didn't figure my phone would be able to run any apps.  But they are both there and I can get around it just as simply as I can my newer everyday phone.  

    tl;dr...Apple shows that you can invest your money in them and they will build on what you bought.  You won't lose support or focus in 2 years and have to toss it.  
    racerhomie3klock379magman1979chiaStrangeDayswatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 5 of 84
    Apples handhelds are so darn good.

    We have two iPad mini's (the first with Retina, whenever that was).  They're going strong, no issues, daily use (by kids), good battery life still.  Never even a screen-stutter.
    Actually we've worn out the smart covers while the hardware is still near-perfect!  Just realized that, wow.  What does THAT say?

    We recently bought the $329 iPad.  It's SO NICE that for $329 we feel like we stole it, and it's not even the best one! 
    Offering that model for $329 is super generous in my opinion.  Could've easily been $379, which is a big difference mentally.

    And we now have an old super-beater iPad 2 that a friend recently gave us.  Even though it struggles at times rendering the graphics in our "Clash of Clans" game and can crash Safari at times (its two only uses), I see that as testimony of how LONG these iPads last; that it still mostly-works with X-years-future Apps.  The multi-touch is still flawless, and rendering issues in a game shows how far the GAME has progressed over the years (way more complex now).  Reasonable battery life too, for its age.

    There are great products.
    airnerdstanthemananton zuykovmagman1979chiaStrangeDayswatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 6 of 84
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 532member
    When Apple has grown even more, and plays the endgame of ‘winner takes al’, and the very ethical Tim Cook has retired, what will this humongous organization do with all its power? Whenever I buy Apple stuff, and I really own a lot these days, this question haunts me at night. 
    I honestly believe Tim already knows who his successor will be.  They have the vision that a lot of companies lack.  
    mwhitemagman1979chiaStrangeDayswatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 7 of 84
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 532member
    thedba said:
    Another point many forget is how every pundit and their grandmother was deriding the iPad for having a 4:3 aspect ratio. How it was not great for viewing movies etc.

    Now all you get is crickets chirping when asked about Android and Windows tablet aspect ratio. Guess it’s natural evolution or something. 

    For a good laugh, try reading this little gem I came across, explaining why Android makers switched to 4:3 ratio. Do this away from any hot liquids like coffee or tea.

    http://www.tested.com/tech/android/467213-why-android-tablets-are-finally-going-43-screen-ratios/

    From the article. 
    Why is now the time for mainstream Android to go 4:3? Why not two or three years ago? Frankly, it's because Android won.

    Now try not to laugh. 

    I don't understand the part where it says that China copies a lot of iPhone looks, but "respected Android OEM doesn't want any part of that".  What???  Do they not want any part of that because Android OEM's actually ARE the chinese crap that is copying the look of the iPhone?  
    thedbamagman1979watto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 8 of 84
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 532member
    Apples handhelds are so darn good.

    We have two iPad mini's (the first with Retina, whenever that was).  They're going strong, no issues, daily use (by kids), good battery life still.  Never even a screen-stutter.
    Actually we've worn out the smart covers while the hardware is still near-perfect!  Just realized that, wow.  What does THAT say?

    We recently bought the $329 iPad.  It's SO NICE that for $329 we feel like we stole it, and it's not even the best one! 
    Offering that model for $329 is super generous in my opinion.  Could've easily been $379, which is a big difference mentally.

    And we now have an old super-beater iPad 2 that a friend recently gave us.  Even though it struggles at times rendering the graphics in our "Clash of Clans" game and can crash Safari at times (its two only uses), I see that as testimony of how LONG these iPads last; that it still mostly-works with X-years-future Apps.  The multi-touch is still flawless, and rendering issues in a game shows how far the GAME has progressed over the years (way more complex now).  Reasonable battery life too, for its age.

    There are great products.
    Exactly.  My son has worn out the ottebox lifeproof case.  The rubber parts are just shredded and hanging off.  I could take that off and the mini would look and run like brand new.  It's amazing that an electronic device can go through that much use and has never once had anything in it opened up.  Original everything, I don't believe I have ever had it out of that lifeproof since the day I bought it.  No need.  
    stanthemanmagman1979bakedbananaswatto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 9 of 84
    thedbathedba Posts: 443member
    airnerd said:
    thedba said:
    Another point many forget is how every pundit and their grandmother was deriding the iPad for having a 4:3 aspect ratio. How it was not great for viewing movies etc.

    Now all you get is crickets chirping when asked about Android and Windows tablet aspect ratio. Guess it’s natural evolution or something. 

    For a good laugh, try reading this little gem I came across, explaining why Android makers switched to 4:3 ratio. Do this away from any hot liquids like coffee or tea.

    http://www.tested.com/tech/android/467213-why-android-tablets-are-finally-going-43-screen-ratios/

    From the article. 
    Why is now the time for mainstream Android to go 4:3? Why not two or three years ago? Frankly, it's because Android won.

    Now try not to laugh. 

    I don't understand the part where it says that China copies a lot of iPhone looks, but "respected Android OEM doesn't want any part of that".  What???  Do they not want any part of that because Android OEM's actually ARE the chinese crap that is copying the look of the iPhone?  
    I posted it for its comedic, not informational, value. 
    There really is nothing to understand. 
    watto_cobraargonaut
  • Reply 10 of 84
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 532member
    thedba said:
    airnerd said:
    thedba said:
    Another point many forget is how every pundit and their grandmother was deriding the iPad for having a 4:3 aspect ratio. How it was not great for viewing movies etc.

    Now all you get is crickets chirping when asked about Android and Windows tablet aspect ratio. Guess it’s natural evolution or something. 

    For a good laugh, try reading this little gem I came across, explaining why Android makers switched to 4:3 ratio. Do this away from any hot liquids like coffee or tea.

    http://www.tested.com/tech/android/467213-why-android-tablets-are-finally-going-43-screen-ratios/

    From the article. 
    Why is now the time for mainstream Android to go 4:3? Why not two or three years ago? Frankly, it's because Android won.

    Now try not to laugh. 

    I don't understand the part where it says that China copies a lot of iPhone looks, but "respected Android OEM doesn't want any part of that".  What???  Do they not want any part of that because Android OEM's actually ARE the chinese crap that is copying the look of the iPhone?  
    I posted it for its comedic, not informational, value. 
    There really is nothing to understand. 
    LOL, I know.  But some won't be lucky enough to have time to read it so thought I'd call out some of the dumber comments :)
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 84
    I'm a little puzzled. I keep hearing (fake) news about how Google is crushing Apple in the educational market where all schools are buying Chromebooks for students because the schools have decided that Apple iPads are either too expensive or too limited in function. I had accepted that news as being true and I thought it was Apple who basically gave up on selling iPads to schools.

     I certainly never had any clue that Google was going to be dropping support of Chromebooks. I personally would rather have a device with a keyboard so I'd prefer a MacBook or MacBook Pro instead of an iPad. I definitely wouldn't want some Chromebook. I simply figured schools were buying Chromebooks because they cost less to buy and were good enough for students to use. Does Google giving up on Chromebooks mean Apple has a clear shot at taking over educational institutions with iPads? If so, that would be absolutely spectacular for Apple. The way Wall Street was always happily chirping about how Apple was being destroyed in the educational market, I really thought Apple products had no chance at all in schools.

    I'm surely sick of hearing from analysts how the iPad has basically died because they don't feel Apple is selling as many of them as Wall Street expects them to sell.  It's not easy to sell a product in high quantity every year if the product is well-built and long-lasting.  There's simply no need for consumers to constantly upgrade products that are working well.  That would be a supreme waste of natural resources.  Wall Street doesn't seem to understand such simple concepts.

    Google's Android OS does seem to be flourishing quite well on those low-cost streaming TV boxes which are practically for sale everywhere.  That is a really puzzling platform where features are never easy to figure out because they're so inconsistent with hardware.  SOME will have Bluetooth, SOME will have USB 3.0 ports, SOME will have dual-band WiFi, SOME will have more system RAM, etc.  Only the most expensive device has everything and the NVidia Shield is the King of Android streaming boxes.  There seem to be hundreds of various models from cheap to expensive all competing for the same space.  If AppleTV were a bit more open, Apple could probably own that Android TV space but that could be dangerous as there a huge number of apps relying on pirated content to keep Android streaming boxes from dying out.  I think they're pretty cool to play with but hardly a product any company could survive on.  I like my Fire TV 2 which Amazon doesn't sell anymore but I use that mostly to watch Amazon Prime Video content.  I've side-loaded plenty of illegal apps and they work fairly well but it really just for me to play around with Kodi and Kodi builds and stuff like that.  Messing around with pirated IPTV and such.
    edited March 9 mwhite
  • Reply 12 of 84
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,168member
    This is what happens when the bean counters take over, Google need to make money and they can no longer have loosing propositions. Google keeps throwing stuff at the wall in hopes something sticks. They do not have a long game plan, look at how many times they change directions over the years, they reacting not driving. This also what happen when you give away your product and hope you can make it with services and making your customer the product which you sell and make money. Remember googles customers are advertisers, as such they do what those people who pay the bill want. 

    Apple on the other hand has a long game plan, they know where they are heading, and they sell their software and hardware to their customers and respond to their customers who are US, not some corporation. Microsoft sells to companies, and make most of their money from companies, consumer are only an after thought. 

    This is how you should look at these companies

    Apple - Customer <> Consumers - Product <> consumer products
    Microsoft - Customer <> Businesses - Product <> Business systems (SAS)
    Google - Customer <> Advertisers - Product <> Consumers personal habits and interests 
    Facebook - Customer <> Advertisers - Product <> Consumers personal habits and interests 


    edited March 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 84
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 2,465member
    "A similar trend can be observed in the tablet operating system market share. In the second quarter of 2010, Apple’s iOS held 94 percent of the market share, while nearly three percent of the market used Android’s operating system. As of the first quarter of 2015, Android had taken over the market, holding almost 70 percent of the share. Apple’s iOS accounted for 24 percent of the market, and Microsoft’s operating system made up seven percent of it."

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/276635/market-share-held-by-tablet-vendors/

    Google's business isn't built around hardware. It can dabble in it, make a more or less concerted effort here or there, fail or have moderate success in different areas. It could drop all tablet support today and jump right back in next year.

    As for what they were ''supposed" to achieve with each idea/project, it's moot as long as Google has its services running on most of the devices out there. In that sense, mission accomplished and if iPad sales are largely flat, it can definitely be put down to Android dominance from Google. As can the presence of a so called 'low cost' iPad in Apple's lineup.

    With the purchase of the HTC engineering resources, it's possible (probable?) that a concerted effort will be put into the Pixel phone brand over the coming years.

    Tablets can be left in the hands of Lenovo, Samsung, Huawei which, among them alone, represent just as much of the pie as Apple and that is without throwing in Amazon or ''other" which has consistently taken more tablet share than Apple since 2013.

    I doubt Google loses much sleep over consumer hardware decisions, loss making or not.
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 14 of 84
    minisu1980minisu1980 Posts: 109member
    “Quite incredibly, Google tablets have clearly gone the way of Google TV, Google Glass, Chromebook Pixel, Nexus Player and Android Wear.”

    Someone is feeling generous today, the list of Google failures far exceeds those listed: Google fiber, Boston Dynamics, Motorola to name a few. Oh don’t forget Google plus or whatever it’s social network clone was called. This is also not to mention all the other slow motion train wrecks, moonshots I believe they are called, that are still actively in progress. The loss on this crap got so bad they formed Alphabet so it would not drag down their only successful product search (ad selling).

    oh so forgot about the HTC thing that is not a purchase while at the same time being a purchase. I’m reading the tea leaves here and they portent failure yet again!
    edited March 9 anton zuykovmagman1979StrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 84
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,885member
    I'm a little puzzled. I keep hearing (fake) news about how Google is crushing Apple in the educational market where all schools are buying Chromebooks for students because the schools have decided that Apple iPads are either too expensive or too limited in function. I had accepted that news as being true and I thought it was Apple who basically gave up on selling iPads to schools.

     I certainly never had any clue that Google was going to be dropping support of Chromebooks. . . Does Google giving up on Chromebooks mean Apple has a clear shot at taking over educational institutions with iPads?
    Because of the way the author framed this article I'm not surprised you were led to believe Google was dropping Chromebook support. They are not.  Chromebooks are alive and very healthy, especially in the US K-12 education market where they dominate. It is only Google themselves that are not marketing their own Pixel line of Chromebooks or tablets going forward, at least for the time-being. 
    edited March 9 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 16 of 84
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 30,642member
    While I can generally agree with the article, there are things missing from it. One is that it’s entirely focused on Google. But Samsung sells a fair number of tablets. It’s estimated, as we don’t know how many smartphones, smart watches or tablets they really sell, as they don’t say in quarterly reports, that Samsung sells between 15 and 25% as many tablets as Apple. We don’t know if Samsung’s tablet sales have fallen in recent years as Apple’s has, something the article also fails to address.

    but Samsung does it’s own SoCs, as Apple does. We don’t know exactly what the differences Samsung’s has, as they don’t just use their own. But a big thing here is that Google is apparently getting tired of not having a state of the art SoC. They’ve begun a chip division, hiring away a major designer from Apple, and I suspect, from others as well. We’ll see how that works out, as it will take a couple of years for any result of that to become available. Will they make these for the Android market in general, or just for themselves? Nobody knows.

    if we poo poo their SoC before it comes out, just remember that the same thing was said about Apple’s attempt, before that came out.
    edited March 9 gatorguybakedbananas
  • Reply 17 of 84
    larryalarrya Posts: 495member
    Overall, pretty good article. I was not aware that Android Wear was dead.  The only thing that seemed disingenuous was this remark about iPads not supporting Flash:

    “...all of which sounded virtually identical to the themes in this year's launch of HomePod”

    Not supporting Spotify is not the same thing. There is no battery life, performance, or security risk to support a third party streaming product.  

    Also, iPad is great, but why can’t I have a calculator again??
  • Reply 18 of 84
    GG1GG1 Posts: 188member
    melgross said:
    While I can generally agree with the article, there are things missing from it. One is that it’s entirely focused on Google. But Samsung sells a fair number of tablets. It’s estimated, as we don’t know how many smartphones, smart watches or tablets they really sell, as they don’t say in quarterly reports, that Samsung sells between 15 and 25% as many tablets as Apple. We don’t know if Samsung’s tablet sales have fallen in recent years as Apple’s has, something the article also fails to address.

    but Samsung does it’s own SoCs, as Apple does. We don’t know exactly what the differences Samsung’s has, as they don’t just use their own. But a big thing here is that Google is apparently getting tired of not having a state of the art SoC. They’ve begun a chip division, hiring away a major designer from Apple, and I suspect, from others as well. We’ll see how that works out, as it will take a couple of years for any result of that to become available. Will they make these for the Android market in general, or just for themselves? Nobody knows.

    if we poo poo their SoC before it comes out, just remember that the same thing was said about Apple’s attempt, before that came out.
    Samsung have the SoC but not the OS. This is the perfect opportunity for Samsung to take over the tablet market using Tizen. I just don't think Samsung have shown in the past at being very good at software, so this may not actually happen.

    Eventually, the Android tablet vendors will need an updated OS. So where is it going to come from?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 84
    You will not be missed. iPad clones.
    magman1979watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 84
    jameskatt2jameskatt2 Posts: 692member
    All of Google's hardware devices are experiments. 
    Only buy them with the realization that Google will quickly drop support and forget about them and you.

    watto_cobra
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