Last week a source cited as extremely reliable told 9to5Google that the search giant was planning to erect standalone stores across the US similar to retail locations currently in operation by Apple and Microsoft. As it turns out, that’s not the case at all according to another reliable source – the person in charge of running Android, Andy Rubin.
During a meeting with reporters at Mobile World Congress, the executive said Google had no plans for retail stores and had nothing to announce on the subject. He pointed out that up until a few years ago, consumers needed to touch and feel devices before making a purchase. That’s no longer the case, however, as they can now make a decision based on reviews and talking to friends. Customers don’t need to go into a store and physically hold a product any longer.
Sameer Samat, head of Google Shopping, essentially echoed the same sentiments late last year but given the breakneck speed of technology and the industry surrounding it, plans can – and often do – change in the blink of an eye.
Even still, the idea of a Google retail store does sound appealing, especially as we traverse through 2013. With premium offerings like the Chomebook Pixel and Google Glass both slated for release this year, a storefront could be the perfect outlet to let customers try these high-end products before buying. After all, it’s one thing to buy a $200 tablet sight unseen but it’s another thing altogether to throw down over a grand on something you’ve never seen or experienced in person.
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