Google has no plans to build its own retail chain to sell its own brand devices. According to a high-ranking executive of the company, the Internet provides the right amount of information that one needs to make a buying decision.
In a bid to better compete against Apple and Microsoft Corp., Google not only needs to sell more Android-based devices, but to preferably sell more premium hardware and own-brand hardware that offers the latest and greatest technologies. One of the ways to sell more gadgets is to sell them via own retail stores and therefore allow customers to try them before buying. Even though earlier this month a rumour transpired about Google’s plan to open up a chain of own retail stores, it does not seem to be the company’s plan.
“[End-users] do not have to go in the store and feel it anymore. For Nexus, I do not think the program is far enough along to think about the necessity of having these things in a retail store. Google has no plans [for retail] and we have nothing to announce,” said Andy Rubin, senior vice president of mobile and digital content at Google, in an interview with AllThingsD.
As sales of consumer electronics is rapidly migrating to the Internet and the traditional retail stores are losing ground, it becomes increasingly hard to take a look on actual devices before purchase. While technically savvy buyers usually read product reviews before ordering, many consumers still want to check devices themselves. So, a lot of people visit Apple stores, where it is possible to try notebooks, tablets and other products before buying them. As a result, Apple is gaining market share, particularly in the U.S., something that should make Google and Microsoft worry.
Google acquired Motorola Mobility last year to boost its hardware development efforts. Nonetheless, the latest breed of Google’s premium smartphones and tablets were developed and built by Asustek Computer, LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics. Google itself is working on numerous hardware projects, including famous Google Glass augmented reality gadget. All-in-all, everything points to rather serious hardware-related plans at Google.
With own retail stores, Google would be able to explain end-users how to take advantage of Android-based devices, Chrome-powered notebooks as well as Google Glass wearable computing device. However, considering the fact that Google’s ecosystem is much broader than Google’s own-brand hardware offerings, the retail strategy would be extremely complex. Selling only own-brand hardware would probably anger Android partners as the OS developer would compete against them. But putting too many devices on the shelves of retail stores would make customer choice more complicated.