Google is out of the tablet game

Just 10 months after doubling down on tablets with the Pixel Slate, Google has now officially pulled the plug on its tablet computers for reasons that are beyond me:

To be clear, Google hadn't actually announced any tablet-specific products this year; the last such item that made its way to the market was the Pixel Slate in 2018. But, as I learned today, the company did have two smaller-sized tablets under development — and earlier this week, it decided to drop all work on those devices and make its roadmap revolve entirely around laptops instead.

That means Google is officially out of the tablet game, just after it released a flagship product, because it would rather build devices like the Pixelbook. This isn't a great look, and a little surprising given how much focus was on the ill-fated tablet convertible at the company's event late last year.

The company basically said that it had killed plans for two upcoming tablets, as well. It's interesting to consider this in the context of previous reports that Google would scale back its tablet and laptop business—until we see a refresh of the Pixelbook, which is long overdue, I'll consider this a focus on phones rather than anything else.

What amazes me is that this leaves only Apple and Microsoft fully in the tablet game, with the iPad and Surface competing directly for as much of the market as possible. In general, the iPad is clearly winning that space—given that Microsoft's efforts are more on the hybrid side of things—but it's clear that the tablet category is not heating up at all.

Slack's opening day: not bad

A direct listing is risky business, but Slack showed it works perfectly well, provided there's enough investor interest: the company's shares flew up 48.5% on their first day of trading to $38.50. Given that it still loses money, and had a reference price of $26, that's a huge win. 

The battle to kill email, however, continues for Slack...

Apple looks to move 'some' manufacturing

The trade war has no end in sight, so Apple is considering moving some of its products out of Chinese manufacturing, according to The Wall Street Journal:

To avoid this potential wave of new tariffs, Apple has accelerated production and shipment of some China-made products for stockpiling, people familiar with the matter said. Apple has also been asking suppliers whether it is possible to further cut costs, some of the people said. Reductions in production expense could help Apple absorb the impact of added tariffs on its profit margins.

So, how long does something like that take? It depends if Apple was already building another facility—but it likely takes months or years, as the new factory needs to learn processes and equipment, supply chains are spun up, and so on. Expect this to move for smaller-run products like AirPods first.

Tab Dump

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