Google Denies Any Plans For Retail Stores… At Least For Now
It has been reported that Google is working on its own retail stores, but recent comments from the head of Android fly in the face of such a claim. Google’s Andy Rubin talked about the possibility of a Google Store at Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona.
According to Rubin, Google “has no plans” to do any kind of retail store in the near future. That doesn’t mean things won’t change, but Google has thrown cold water on the store rumor for now.
Rubin used the early state of Google’s hardware development to support his reasoning: “For Nexus, I don’t think the program is far enough along to think about the necessity of having these things in a retail store.”
Customers “don’t have to go in the store and feel it anymore,” said Rubin while speaking about the availability of Google’s smartphones and tablets. There used to be an interactive walkthrough of the Nexus online when Google started selling the phone directly to customers. Now Google’s product pages are more like Apple’s with succinct feature explanations and pretty shots of the devices in action.
Apple obviously believes the opposite about the customer’s desire to touch a device in person. A huge part of the iPhone and iPad’s success can be directly attributed to the Apple Store. In fact, Apple runs the most profitable retail operation in the world.
Google has already been experimenting with retail for years. The company has opened temporary, pop-up stores around the world to help sell products like the Chromebook. A full-fledged Google Store may not be on the table right now, but that doesn’t mean Google won’t make its way into retail eventually. It’s only a matter of time.