Struggling Nexus tablet
In 2010, Steve Jobs launched the first generationiPadAlthough many people ridiculed the iPad is just "largeiPhone"But the iPad's sales have surprised people's expectations - the sale of 1 million units in less than a month, the sales speed is faster than the iPhone. Then, other technology giants are also eager to try, in the field to show their skills, of course, Also includes Google.
In the 2012 Q1 financial conference call, Google founder Larry Page hinted that Google is about to launch a cheap tablet; then, at the same year's Google I/O conference, Google launched the Nexus 7 at a starting price of $199. generation. Strictly speaking, the first generation of Nexus 7 is Google's first tablet; from a price perspective, Larry Page also fulfilled his promise, which is indeed a "cheap" tablet, after all released in the same year. The third generation of the iPad starts at $499.
In the next few years, Google rushed to upgrade the Nexus 7 to the second generation, launching the Nexus 9/10; in 2015, the new tablet product Pixel C was also launched. These tablets are all powered by the Android operating system.
Unfortunately, the sales of the Nexus series of tablets have been unsatisfactory; in 2016, Google even quietly removed the Nexus 9 in the official mall - the only remaining Nexus series tablet at the time; NXP 9 foundry HTC also The external response indicates that the company has completely stopped the production of the equipment. The Google Nexus tablet was swallowed up by the flood of history.
Without the Nexus series, can Pixel C be Google's help to save the situation?
In fact, Pixel C does not completely replace Nexus's position, because the positioning of the two is different from the product itself or from the sales strategy. We can understand that Nexus is easy to use, affordable, and affordable to the general public; Pixel C is a more professional device that emphasizes productivity and costs nearly $500.
All of these differences make Pixel C's audience smaller, so it's unlikely to make a real sense of Nexus' "loss".
Confrontation between Android and iOS
There is another reason why Nexus “retired” in 2016, which was at the bottom of the tablet.
According to market research firm IDC, in 2015, global tablet shipments were 206.8 million units, down 10.1% from 2014's 230.1 million units; 2016 Q1 continued the previous downward trend, and the global tablet market continued for six consecutive years. The quarter has shrunk.
The above image is taken from IDC's 2015 tablet market report.
Although Apple's iPad shipments also met with Waterloo, which was 21.8% lower than 2014 in 2015, overall, the iPad still has a large market share of 24.0%; so to speak, the iPad's market share is Many Android tablet vendors are far behind. Even today, it is.
According to a report released by IDC in January this year, global tablet market shipments fell by 11.4% year-on-year in 2018; however, Apple ranked first with a market share of 29.6%. The popularity of the iPad is largely due to the iOS system, and iOS has become more mature with generations of updates. (Apple is about to launch iPadOS running on an iPad device instead of iOS.)
Unlike closed iOS, Android is based on an open ecosystem. Any hardware manufacturer can develop its own systems and devices on this basis. This kind of openness makes the quality of devices equipped with Android operating system uneven, and even lowers the Android tablet. Competitiveness.
Chrome OS from PC to tablet
Google’s operating system, Chrome OS, is also evolving as Google continues to worry about the development of its tablets.
Data from IDC at the time indicated that light productivity tool-type tablets are expected to become the mainstream of the tablet market in the future: 2018 Q1, likeMicrosoft SurfaceThe market share of detachable tablets such as the iPad Pro is increasing, with an annual growth rate of nearly 3%; sales of traditional tablet PCs continue to decline, down 13.9% year-on-year.
Google is also beginning to change its strategy to stop using the traditional Android operating system and focus on Chrome OS, because Chrome OS is expected to be more popular than Android in the future tablet market, which is the mainstream of lightweight office space.
So, in March 2018, Google and Acer jointly launched the first Chrome OS tablet; at the Made By Google hardware conference in October of the same year, Google’s first tablet Pixel Slate with Chrome OS system was officially unveiled. The product is also compatible with the Android operating system - the traditional interface is Android, switch to Chrome OS after connecting the mouse or keyboard. It is worth mentioning that the Pixel Slate is also equippedIntelDesktop processor, while most of the products in the same period are loadedMobile phoneprocessor.
For Google’s tablet business, the birth of the Pixel Slate is a milestone. IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani also said that the entry of Chrome OS into the detachable tablet market is a welcome change, and that Google is therefore more competitive.
Logically speaking, the Pixel Slate, which has received much attention, is powerful, but it also has some problems. According to The Verge, the Pixel Slate has indeed won praise at the hardware level, but there is still room for improvement at the software level, and Chrome OS is not very well adapted on the tablet.
Although Google has been working on solving problems, it may also realize that competing with the iPad is doomed to fail - the iPad offers a variety of price models, a large number of applications, and iPad productivity with the launch of iPadOS It will also increase dramatically; for those who are trying to find a PC experience on a tablet, the Pixel Slate will not be their best choice.
From this perspective, abandoning the tablet market may be the result of Google recognizing the reality and shifting the focus of Chrome OS back to a traditional laptop like Pixelbook.
It is worth mentioning that Google has officially stopped the tablet business, and the two products being developed have also been stopped, but Google will also provide software update services for Pixel Slate; and Google will continue to provide other hardware vendors. Support and develop more Chrome OS-based tablet devices.
Of course, from the perspective of business development, Google’s abandonment of the device form of the tablet means that Google has begun to adopt a more streamlined hardware product strategy, which is also true for Google, which is in the decline of advertising business revenue. A smart move to reduce investment and stop losses in a timely manner – returning to a familiar software service role is not necessarily a good thing for Google.