HARDWARE MAKER Sony has reportedly bailed on plans to release a duo of new Android tablets due to lacklustre sales of its Xperia smartphones.
Sony's most recent tablet was the 2015's Xperia Z4, but recent rumours claimed that the firm was finally preparing two successors: the Sony Xperia Z5 and Z5C, with the 'C' standing for 'Compact'.
Per the online rumour mill, we were expecting the Android tablets to pack 10in and 8-in displays, respectively, with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 providing the under-the-hood grunt.
However, according to a 'reliable source' speaking to Android Marvel, Sony has bailed on plans to release the two tablets due to poorer-than-expected sales of its latest flagship smartphones.
"Sales didn't go as expected for 2018 high-end phones including Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact," the source said, noting that Sony will re-focus its efforts on its flailing smartphone lineup.
However, the report notes that this re-focus could see Sony might trimming down the Xperia smartphone lineup as well.
News of Sony bailing on its tablet plans arrived as the 'Tablets' section of the Android Store mysteriously disappeared over the weekend, fuelling speculation that even Google had thrown in the towel on Android tablets.
However, Google's senior vice-president of platforms and ecosystems, Hiroshi Lockheimer, since tweeted that the section is back up, having disappeared from the site due to a "bug".
Regardless, like Sony, Google released its last tablet - the Pixel C - in December 2015, and recently excluded the ageing device from its Android P Developer Program. The firm's Android Store is lacking in any new hardware either - and instead still advertises the Nvidia Shield K1, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 8.0 and Sony's Xperia Tablet X4
Rather, Google seems to be re-focusing its efforts on Chrome OS, with OEMs adopting the firm's stripped-back, browser-based OS for tablets rather than Android, the latter of which has never been fully optimised to work efficiently on big-screened devices. µ
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