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14 March 2019, 09:56 | Casey Mitchell
Report: Google Pulling Engineers, Managers From Tablet and Laptop...
The company's Pixel range of smartphones have been received well and its Home smart speakers have been really successful, but apparently, not all the hardware units are as profitable.
It seems the majority of employees subject to cutbacks are hardware engineers, product managers, and related support staff, and after being notified of these changes in the last two weeks, those "floating" workers have been looking for positions in Google's smartphone department or one of Alphabet's other hardware businesses like Nest.
Affected employees have been instructed to seek temporary roles within other Google or Alphabet teams, raising questions about Google's future hardware plans. One source claims that the Create team had a "bunch of stuff in the works", and that the movement of employees away from the project is indicative of the company "par [ing] down the portfolio" of products. We're glad to know that the employees involved are being reassigned to other projects within the company.
Google admits that its hardware business is not profitable enough to accommodate a large number of employees and therefore has made a decision to trim the fat. Google hasn't offered any official comment on the matter or indicated that there are any plans to end either the Pixelbook or Pixel Slate product lines.
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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. The hardware market for laptops is fiercely competitive, and all of Google's (overpriced) efforts in this space have failed to capture the market. The company launched its Pixel Slate - a tablet that acts like a laptop, meant to compete with Microsoft's Surface Pro and Apple's iPad Pro - to a similar, cold reception.
Right now, the Google Pixel phone project doesn't seem to be impacted by these changes, but the people with knowledge of the restructuring told the cited source that several projects have been canceled in the laptop and tablet division. Since then, sources tell us that pressure has increased to make hardware at Google into a "real business".
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