If Google's already making changes like this for its tablet/laptop division, what's that say for other hardware projects the company's working on? Affected employees apparently include hardware engineers and technical program engineers, but manufacturing roles are reportedly safe thus far.
By the looks of things, Google could also ditch plans for certain projects, according to the aforementioned source citing people familiar with the matter, as the company requested employees in the hardware group to temporarily seek new roles in other divisions or Alphabet companies.
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. However, the team reportedly had a "bunch of stuff in the works", and the downsizing will likely "pare down the portfolio" of products. Google hasn't had much success with most of its hardware offerings, and a recent report from Business Insider indicates that this is unlikely to change in the short term future too.
Although the Pixel Slate and Pixelbook boast a premium design and pack decent hardware, their value proposition is low and software optimizations were questionable and often show the company's lack of commitment towards improving Chrome OS. This will have a massive impact on Google's hardware business as BI reports that projects on which the company was actively working on are now cancelled.
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Google makes most its money on advertisements and services.
With the Pixel C, Google attempted to re-imagine what a portable 2-in-1 could be by designing a detachable tablet that connected to its keyboard dock via a tilting, magnetic flap that functioned sort of like a reverse kickstand.
Downsizing its laptop and tablet division comes nearly three years after Google unified its hardware efforts under the leadership of Osterloh.
Since the start of the Nexus smartphone program, Google's made hardware as a sort of guide for the rest of the industry.