Sandwiched between the Apple event of a few days ago and the upcoming Microsoft unveiling of its new hardware that’s soon to come, Google hosted its own event to show off new Nexus phones and the attractive Pixel C Tablet. Googlers have extended the Pixel brand launched with the Chromebook Pixel to the Android tablet space. Whatever is driving the company to build a tablet, history shows it won’t grab many buyers given the high price.
I won’t give a detailed overview of the new tablet, those are all over the web. No, I’m looking at what impact if any it will have on the crowded Android tablet segment. The biggest factor that determines if an Android tablet will do well in the market is price. There are tablets available for $100 or less, and a $500 tablet, no matter how good the hardware may be, just can’t compete.
Even with an attractive and innovative keyboard accessory, the Pixel C isn’t going to compete with the upcoming iPad Pro or Microsoft’s Surface tablets in the workplace. Plus, keyboards for Android tablets are nothing new.
Some may buy a Pixel C to get a first look at Android 6.0, aka Marshmallow, but those will be few and far between. Even if the new version of Android is better on tablets than earlier versions, that won’t change the spotty support of third-party tablet apps. It’s better than it used to be but far from consistent.
The Pixel C Tablet is more a proof-of-concept effort by Google, and its partners in Android will keep pumping out tablets as usual. They are all trying to make a profit, most unsuccessfully, and they are going to view Google’s premium tablet as a bump in the road. Which is probably an accurate take.