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Google scales back hardware development

(Image credit: Image Credit: Asif Islam / Shutterstock)

It seems as Google is feeling the heat of the shrinking hardware market, as it has told dozens of its employees that build laptops and tablets – to look for other job openings in the company.

The media are interpreting the move (opens in new tab) as Google shrinking its hardware division. The employees in question are part of the company's Create team, which works on things like the Pixelbook or the Pixel Slate. These are mostly hardware engineers, technical program managers, and those who support program managers.

The media are saying that some projects in the laptop and tablet divisions have had to be canceled, due to the new lack of staff. It seems as the majority of these employees are looking to transfer to the Pixel phone.

It was also said that Google advised these employees to seek 'temporary roles', which has had the media speculating that Google may still expand its hardware division at a later date.

Google declined to comment.

Since 2011, laptop sales have been steadily declining, figures from Statista (opens in new tab) are showing. In the past three years, the sales have started tentatively going up, from 156 million in 2016, to 162 million last year. They are expected to hit 165 million by 2022.

Tablets, on the other hand, have been in a downward spiral since 2014, when they sold a total of 133 million. Last year, we've seen 94 million tablets sold, and we expect the figure to go down to 84 million by 2022.

Image Credit: Asif Islam / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.