Dell Exits Android Tablet Market, Abandoning Software Updates, Focusing On Windows 10 Convertibles

As good of a job Dell did in constructing in its Venue line of Android tablets over the past several years, it's kicking Google's open source operating system to the curb and focusing more on Windows 10 devices, specifically the fast growing 2-in-1 convertible market. That means no more Android slates, nor will Dell offer its Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect PC-on-a-stick.

"The slate tablet market is over-saturated and is experiencing declining demand from consumers, so we've decided to discontinue the Android-based Venue tablet line," Dell told IDG News Service in an email. "We are seeing 2-in-1s rising in popularity since they provide a more optimal blend of PC capabilities with tablet mobility. This is especially true in the commercial space.

Dell Venue 8 7000

Dell is attempting to be swift in its reaction to market trends, something it's more able to do now that it doesn't have to answer to a board of directors or stock holders. Though tablets were once incredibly popular, shipments have been declining the past several quarters as consumers turn to more flexible and functional devices, particularly 2-in-1 devices that can serve as both a tablet and a laptop PC.

Declining demand in tablets isn't the fault of manufacturers like Dell. There have been some innovative tablet options in the Android space, including Dell's Venue 8 7000, an extremely thin and well designed slate with Intel's RealSense camera built into the device. But despite all its bells and whistles, there just is no longer a growing market for tablets.

The same isn't true of 2-in-1 devices. According to recent data provided by International Data Corporation, 2-in-1 devices represented the lone bright spot in the tablet category, with dectachable shipments more than doubling during the fourth quarter of 2015. That's compared to an overall 13.7 percent drop in tablet sales during the same quarter.