There won’t be a new Pixelbook in 2023. Google has canceled the launch of its new, yet well-advanced laptop model, and disbanded the team in charge of its development, signaling the end of its hardware ambitions on this market.
The development of Chrome OS, the operating system that equips all “Chromebooks”, is not affected by this decision. The end of this project is part of the cost-saving measures taken by the company to adapt to the economic situation. Boss Sundar Pichai had warned he would reprioritise, and Pixelbooks are clearly not one of them.
It must be said that these “premium” devices have never had great commercial success, and that the Chromebooks offered by third-party manufacturers have gained in quality over the years, making this effort by Google a bit superfluous.
A CHROMEBOOKS MARKET AT HALF
The first Pixelbook was released in 2017, but Google’s first PC, the Chromebook Pixel, dates back to 2013. Like smartphones in the Pixel line running Android, these computers were meant to serve as a technology showcase for Chrome OS to boost the market. innovation from third-party manufacturers (Dell, HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer, Samsung). From this point of view, we can say that they succeeded.
On the other hand, unlike Pixel smartphones, which in their high-end versions have rather good value for money, with in particular acclaimed photo capabilities, the price positioning of Pixelbooks made them uncompetitive vis-à-vis the competition, on a Chromebook market evolving mainly in the entry and mid-range.
These laptops are particularly popular in the world of education, and among students. But the Chromebook market is not buoyant this year. In a PC market down about 10%, Gartner anticipates sales down 30% for these machines in 2022.
CAP ON THE PIXEL WATCH, AND BACK TO THE TABLETS
Price positioning is not the only area where Google’s strategy lacks clarity. Its hardware strategy has always been erratic. In 2019, the company claimed that it was abandoning the tablet market to focus on laptops. As a result, three years later, it will return to the tablet market (in 2023) and put an end to the development of laptops… Google has also stopped its Google Glass project, launched then stopped Daydream in virtual reality, before finally preparing a back with an augmented reality glasses project.
Google cancels its next Pixelbook and leaves the laptop market
Despite last spring’s announcement of new laptops in the works, Google has canceled its upcoming Pixelbook and disbanded its design team altogether.
The computer was almost ready and should have been released in early 2023. But the project was canceled following recent cost-cutting measures within Google.
“Google does not share future product plans or personnel information; however, we are committed to building and supporting a portfolio of innovative and useful Google products for our users.”
The first Pixelbook was released in 2017, four years after Google entered the market with the Chromebook Pixel in November 2013. In recent years, the line has failed to hold its own against the competition, even if the pandemic and telecommuting allowed the brand to bounce back for a few months.
Google would cease development of its Pixelbook laptops
Google has decided to put an end to the development of its Pixelbooks. And this, while the next generation was already well advanced. Will we see it again one day?
The company would also have “closed” the team working on the next generation of device, which was however, it seems, “well advanced in its development”.
And this, while the next generation was already well advanced
This decision does not mean that the American giant draws a final line on the design of laptops after nearly a decade on the market. In 2013, the company introduced the Chromebook Pixel, the first Google-made product to be branded Pixel, and it got a slightly more expensive new version two years later. Google had changed its strategy again in 2017, when the first Pixelbook was marketed as a high-end alternative to the often very entry-level Chromebooks. This 2-in-1 device started at $999 and even had an optional Pixelbook Pen.
Will we see it again one day?
In 2019, Google introduced the slightly more affordable, but still fairly high-end, $649 Pixelbook Go, a Chromebook still stamped Pixel. And although these Chromebook Pixels were thought out and designed to show the extent of the possibilities of Chrome OS with more qualitative components, these devices have never really been very popular, their more affordable alternatives having long dominated the market, especially in the classrooms, especially during the pandemic.
Contacted on the subject, Google has not yet wished to speak publicly.
Google reconsiders its decision and will not launch new Pixelbooks
The Google team in charge of developing its Chromebooks has been dissolved and reassigned to other products.
The group does not know on which foot to dance with its Pixelbooks. These Google-designed Chromebooks were first released in 2017, and the latest model, dubbed the Pixelbook Go, was released in 2019.
A completely closed division
Last May, during its Google I/O, the American group told the American site that it would focus on its Pixelbooks in the future, convinced of their potential.
A decision which could then seem surprising knowing that much earlier, in 2019, he already seemed uncertain of the future of his Chromebooks and tablets and was considering dissolving the teams in place. Since then, the range has not welcomed any new references.
However, the teams remained in place and worked on the development of a new Pixelbook. While it should have been formalized soon, the staff in charge of the project was fully reassigned to other missions, thus putting an end to the work in progress and any exit from this PC.
A restructuring in question
With the crisis facing tech giants, many of them have decided to cut staff. But Sundar Pichai’s group has meanwhile chosen to keep its payroll as much as possible, while focusing on the most strategic products and missions.
The end of the Pixelbook is therefore part of this framework and responds to a reorganization and a concentration on promising and essential projects. Since the first generation of Pixelbooks, Chromebooks have multiplied in competition and have gradually imposed themselves on both the high-end segment and on affordable models, leaving little room for Google in this market.
As confirmed by Laura Breen, Head of Communications at Google: “We are committed to creating and supporting a portfolio of innovative and useful products for our users“. And to add: “At a time when we are changing priorities, we are working to reassign team members to other devices and services“.
Moreover, the Californian manufacturer should unveil in a month a whole series of new terminals, including its first connected watch, the Pixel Watch. Later, it will be the turn of the Pixel Tab to make its entrance.
Google abandons its Pixelbook laptops and disbands the development team
Google stops the project of a future Pixelbook and leaves the field of laptops, leaving the design of machines equipped with ChromeOS to other manufacturers.
End clap for Google Pixelbooks. The manufacturer has discontinued the next version of its laptop and transferred members of the development team to other departments. The reason would be a cost reduction. In a July memo, CEO Sundar Pichai announced the color, with consolidations in some areas, but also shutdowns for some projects:
“In other cases, it means pausing development and redeploying resources to higher priority areas. »