Update 3/2: Osterloh has revised his earlier statement about the ‘death’ of “Google’s own Chromebooks.” In a tweet, he notes that “They will live on” and that the company has “no plans to share at this time.” In another clarification, he interestingly comments that future Google-branded laptops might not necessarily have the Pixel brand:
“Regarding the future of Google-branded laptops (whether called Pixel or not), I should clarify that we don’t have any plans to discuss at this time.”
During an interview with some members of the press at Mobile World Congress, hardware head Rick Osterloh revealed that there are “no plans for Google-branded laptops.” While referring to the Chromebook Pixel line, the quote is broad enough to possibly include the long rumored Bison Pixel-branded laptop hybrid as well, which was reported to run “Andromeda”…
The Pixel brand is reserved for Google-built products that deeply integrate the hardware and software experience. Speaking to TechCrunch, Osterloh said that while it’s possible that future non-phone devices will use the brand, that won’t include laptops:
Google hasn’t backed away from laptops. We have the number two marketshare in the US and UK — but we have no plans for Google-branded laptops.
While the question was clearly brought up in regards to Chromebooks, Osterloh’s resulting answer is quite broad. The VP could just be referring to Google no longer manufacturing Chromebooks (like the expensive ones that originally held the Pixel brand), but it also leaves open the possibility of no laptop-like devices whatsoever. Google halted sales of the second-generation Chromebook Pixel released in 2015 last August.
The latter interpretation puts into question the rumored Bison tablet that reportedly was going to run the rumored Andromeda OS. (Then again, Bison would likely not even be considered to be a traditional laptop form factor, either.) But if “Bison” has been axed, it wouldn’t be farfetched to think Andromeda has as well. And if that’s the case, it would also make sense to assume the 7-inch Huawei tablet we were told about could also be cancelled, since our source told us last year that it would launch with the new Android-based OS.
In a brief aside on the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, Osterloh also noted in the interview their market success and again acknowledged supply issues.