19
Feb
androidland

There have been a few items in the rumor mill about Google either investigating or planning retail stores, not unlike the Apple stores that famously dot malls and upper-class shopping areas around the world. 9to5 Google reported a tip from "an extremely reliable source" citing a 2013 rollout schedule for a Google store. Then the Wall street Journal, itself a pretty reliable reporter of the inner workings of Google, reported the same thing. The WSJ omitted a time frame, and noted that the 2013 claim may not be accurate.

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Australian carrier Telstra's Androidland in Melbourne. Photo credit: Wired

A Google store would naturally focus on Google hardware, such as it is: you could definitely imagine Nexus phones and tablets, Chromebooks, and maybe even a few Google TVs littering a showroom. But can a handful of products really make, or even justify, a retail presence? The Wall Street Journal's tepid report seems to indicate that the decision makers inside Google are currently weighing the pros and cons. After all, there's only so many docks and plastic Android toys you can sell. Another possibility is that Google could use stores as a presentation platform, showing off the best and brightest of Android and Chrome hardware without consideration of the Nexus brand. Both sources indicate that Google would launch retail outlets in the United States first, if at all.

It's hard to see the point in a Google store, considering just how small their current "official" hardware lineup is. But on the plus side, you'd always have a place to line up for the next Nexus release. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, 9to5 Google

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Josh Flowers

    aaaand now to polish up my resume

    man i hope these stores come to fruition!

    • JG

      lol, I was thinking the same thing.... Especially if you get all of the benefits & perks other Google employees get...

  • Praveen Kartha P

    Hope they open one in India, which is a huge market for Android and we dont have Play store :-(

  • Asphyx

    Well lets be honest here how many Products does Apple really have to sell?
    iPad, iPod, iPhone, Desktops, and Mac Books. People are still waiting for something new on AppleTV....
    And Google could sell products from a bunch of manufacturers with far greater selection than anything you might find in an Apple store....
    Even if they limit it to Nexus devices anyone can make a Nexus device these days. And if they get re-seller status on Mobile contracts like Best Buy does with all the carriers they have a leg up on Apple in that department as well.

    • Trenton Seagoe

      This exactly what I was thinking. The Google stores would be like Best Buy Mobile ones. Selling each carrier but pushing their own stuff. If this comes out, Part Time J.O.B. here I come. I will be relentless at getting a job there.

  • Jeremy Powers

    As someone who lives near Mall of America and as such a Microsoft store right across from the Apple store I would love to see a Google store right next door.

    • Justin Winker

      I would visit just to see the sight lol

  • John O’Connor

    Let us not discount the fact that although it appears that the GOOG has very few products (that are explicitly Google Branded) they are also a major hardware company with their acquisition of Motorola. The best is yet to come, or so they say.

  • Matthew Fry

    If they had a retail store they might have to have *gahsp* real, living customer service!

  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I took a couple of minutes to count up what each store would likely have for sale. These are only the showcase items, stuff you actually put on display. Note, I'm including multiple sizes (ie. 13" macbook is different from a 15" macbook), but I'm not counting multiple colors or different storage sizes. Obviously, all of these stores also sell countless accessories and other high margin junk to fill your cabinets with...

    Apple (alone): 2 iPhones (4S and 5), 3 iPads (mini, ipad 2, and ipad 4), 1 desktop (they only show the iMac, never the Mac Pro or Mac Mini), 6 laptops (2 Air sizes, 2 MBP sizes with retina, 2 MBP sizes without retina), 3 iPods (Shuffle, Mini, and current gen Touch), and in some stores they will also have the 27" Cinema display. Several other products are hanging in boxes (like AppleTV) or in the back. In total, it's only 15

    Microsoft (alone): 2 surface tablets (RT and pro) and the XBox 360. Total, 3...
    Microsoft (with OEMs): add up to 6 Windows Phones (not counting carrier variants), and a metric crap-ton of laptops (sorry, I'm not going to count 'em all). I've been told that the selection is pretty constantly changing. In total, a LOT

    Google (alone-ish): 1 phone, 2 tablets, 2 laptops. On paper, better than MS with 5
    * Note, Motorola's selection will eventually add to this, regardless of Nexus branding.
    Google (with OEM flagships only): add 5-8 phones, 3-5 tablets, 3-4 GoogleTV boxes, 3-6 GoogleTV flatscreens, and on Android-powered stove (j/k). Now we're starting around 19 and going up from there.

    Objectively, if Google handles their store the way Microsoft does by including selected devices from partnered OEMs, there's no reason at all that it can't be just as cluttered as the competition. :)

  • TriAxeS

    Retail Stores will benefit "Google Glass", as most people would like to try it out in person before investing in something so seemingly intrusive.