We don't need retail stores, says Google's Rubin

Summary:In contrast to Apple's approach, customers don't need to touch smartphones and tablets before buying, according to Google's Android boss Andy Rubin.

Smartphone buyers don't need to touch the devices before purchasing, according to Google's Android boss Andy Rubin.

Rubin has said Google has no plans to open retail stores, All Things D reported from Mobile World Congress on Tuesday.

A few Morgan Stanley analysts thought an Apple-like move into retail could work for Google, giving it a public consumer face and a dedicated space to show off its hardware products, which now include Chromebooks, Nexus tablets and phones, and others in the pipeline such as Google Glass and the rumoured Motorola-based X Phone.

Not so, for two reasons, according to Rubin. "They don't have to go in the store and feel it anymore," he said, adding that its Nexus was not "far enough along" to even require a retail store. Indeed, Google has only recently managed to address supply shortages for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 sold through the Google Play channel.

On the other hand, Google did find it worthwhile supporting pre-Pixel Chromebooks with dedicated 'Chrome Zones' located at Dixons stores across the UK and Best Buy in the US.

Topics: Google, Mobility, MWC


Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, s... Full Bio

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