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Google dudes on couch

Google has ‘no plans’ to launch retail stores in the near future

Rumours that Google was set to launch a series of retail stores are false. At least that’s the impression Google’s head of Android Andy Rubin gave at a roundtable with journalists today.

Stuart Thomas: Motorburn Editor
Stuart Thomas joined the Burn Media team in 2011 while finishing off an MA in South African Literature. Eager to prove his geek credentials, he allowed himself... More

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“Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce,” he is quoted as saying by AllThingsD.

In fact, Rubin reckons that there’s no reason for the internet giant to ever do so because so many people now decide what devices they’re going to buy based on conversations with friends and online reviews.

“They don’t have to go in the store and feel it anymore,” he said.

He added that Google’s hardware programme was still very much in its infancy: “For Nexus, I don’t think the programme is far enough along to think about the necessity of having these things in a retail store.”

That makes sense. Although Apple’s hardware range is very much limited, it’s still big enough to fill a (very sparse, very white) store. Google’s simply isn’t. Renting retail space would therefore be good way to spend a lot of money with no real prospects of any returns.

Unlike its Cupertino-based rival, the face of Google also isn’t hardware. It’ll have to solidify its hardware position before a fully fledged retail presence starts making sense.

When asked about Google’s potential plans to move into music subscription meanwhile, company representatives were cagey.

“I’ve seen the same rumors you have,” said Google Play head Jamie Rosenberg. “I’m not going to comment.”