At Mobile World Congress 2017, Google met with several journalists to discuss ongoing and future initiatives for the giant tech company. One Google representative in attendance was Rick Osterloh who is the senior vice president for hardware and effectively runs the consumer hardware side of things. During the meeting and in subsequent comments, Osterloh revealed the Chromebook Pixel line of laptops has reached the end of its life and he also threw some doubt as to how committed to the Pixel brand Google may be.
With regard to the Pixel laptops, which started the Pixel brand for Google, Osterloh indicated the company had “no plans to do one right now” with regard to a new iteration of the devices. That means Pixel laptops lasted through two versions. Possibly even worse for any potential buyers out there, Osterloh revealed that all of the existing stock of the Chromebook Pixel 2 had been sold and there are no plans to produce more of the second generation Pixel laptops. That means buyers will have to turn to the secondary market or look at Chromebooks from other manufacturers.
Ultimately Osterloh did not rule out Google eventually producing their own laptops again, or at least partnering with someone to produce laptops sold under a Google brand. If the company decides to do that, it will be a decision made down the road though.
In pointing out that laptops are not going to be part of the Pixel brand portfolio going forward, there also seemed to be a bit of a sense of uncertainty regarding expansion of the Pixel name to other products beyond smartphones. With the change to the Pixel laptop status, the categories of products bearing the Pixel named went from three to two with just smartphones and a tablet still available. The hesitancy, if truly present, may also be detected in the fact that Google did not release a Pixel smartwatch with the launch of Android Wear 2.0 earlier this month. Instead, the company let LG brand the watches as their devices, somewhat similar to what was done with the Nexus line of devices.
The Pixel brand could have also been a bit of a victim of its own success. For the Pixel laptops, that meant overcoming concerns that they were overpriced despite Google making it clear they meant the Pixel laptops to be premium products with a price tag to match.
More recently, Google appears to have underestimated demand for their Pixel phones, resulting in long delays and frustration for buyers interested in the devices. That is not a new hurdle for Google to overcome as their Nexus line of smartphones had issues at different points in its history, yet managed to maintain a positive reputation.