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

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.

TOPICS: Google, Android, Mobility, MWC

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, Android, Mobility, MWC

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

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, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Stores arent needed

    I bought my Nexus 7 from Wal-Mart. They had a 7 and 10 out on display.

    Of course, I had already read the reviews, etc and knew what I wanted purchase.

    Having to manage stores would just add more bloat and bureaucracy to Google.
  • hands on

    I can't imagine making a fairly major purchase "sight unseen" so to speak....wouldn't buy a TV without seeing picture in person....one of.the reasons I did not buy a Nexus 4 is that so far, I have never seen one in the wild...reviews help but, they are ALWAYS someone else's opinion
  • Reviews don't cover everything

    I read a lot of reviews on a particular ultrabook and all were good. However before going to buy it online I decided to check out one in a local store. I immediately found issues with the keyboard and decided that it wasn't suitable for me. I'm glad I did that and so now am not going to make any purchases of laptops before at least physically seeing them.
  • We don't need no steeenking bricknmortar.

    Stores? Nice to look at, and drag broken stuff back into. ATT had the SGH-i727 refurb for $20.00 so I had them send it. One trade in and I have been happy with the second for a year now. Didn't need to see it first. Knew what I wanted.