Andy Rubin, you coy devil. I suppose we could ignore those rumors about Google retail stores if you ask nicely and bat your eyes at us. That's what the head of Android would like us to do, anyway, as he spoke at Mobile World Congress stating that "Google has no plans [for a retail store] and we have nothing to announce."

Why not, though? This sure sounds like a good idea to a lot of us in the Android fan world. Well, according to Rubin, people are able to make decisions about which phone they'd like to buy without actually seeing the hardware. They can go off of reviews from friends or your favorite website (hi, guys!) to come to a conclusion.

Rubin is a brilliant man who has done amazing work for the Android world. However, it's difficult for us to stomach this idea that people don't want or need to get their hands on their potential devices before dropping several hundred dollars. Particularly when some of the most important people on the design team regularly echo how great Nexus hardware feels and how you have to hold them to really appreciate the experience.

Of course, when a major exec says that a company doesn't have anything to announce, that may not mean that no one inside the company has considered the idea. The question may not be whether there are plans, but whether this is the right time. After all, Rubin himself said, "For Nexus, I don’t think the program is far enough along to think about the necessity of having these things in a retail store."

When you consider what the Nexus line was like just last year, it's easy to agree. We've only recently arrived at a point where there's a full family of devices. The Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 all seem like they belong together. Like, you could put them on a shelf next to each other and it would look gorgeous. They fit. They work.

More could be done, though. For starters, we have yet to see a Google-built Nexus. That's something we never would've thought about before, but after the Chromebook Pixel arrived, well, we won't rule anything out. Oh, and of course there's Chrome OS. A Google store would have to have some Chromebooks laying around, but at this point the only one that seems to be of a build quality on par with the Nexus line is the Pixel.

Read the rumors carefully and you get the impression that Google is batting around the idea of a physical presence, but isn't anywhere close to pulling the trigger. For my part, I'd be shocked if the company broke ground on some locations in 2013. However, early as it may be, once the idea is suggested that Google create a retail store (complete with bean bags and slides), the world seems bleak without them.

Andy Rubin may be honest when he says that Google has no plans for a retail store at this moment. We can only hope that the company develops some, though. It's just too good an idea not to pursue.

Source: AllThingsD

Eric Ravenscraft
Eric is a snarky technophile with a taste for the unusual. When he's not obsessing about Android, you can usually find him obsessing about movies, psychology, or the perfect energy drink. Eric weaves his own special blend of snark, satire, and comedy into all his articles.

  • http://twitter.com/s99nj S. Ali

    Good idea? It was a terrible idea.

  • ElfirBFG

    Google also needs to offer up wireless and internet alongside the retail store.

    • Kenny O

      Wait.....wasn't T-Mobile for sale at one point? They could kill two birds with one stone.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

        Isn't T-Mobile already a dead bird?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

          It's dead in the UK since Orange and T-Mobile merged to be Everything Everywhere or EE for short.

        • Kenny O

          Maybe El Goog could breath some life back into them

        • http://twitter.com/jamesbarone97 Alexander Barone

          that would be two dead birds, T-Mobile, and Motorola.... that would kill google and then we would have 3 dead birds... :(

  • Kenny O

    I love the idea of a Google store, but maybe instead of jumping all in with their own stores they could piggy back onto another retail outlet similar to what Apple did with Best Buy. Have their own Google section in another store.

    • Laurence Harris

      They already do this in the UK, they have their own google pop up sections in places like Curry's

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

        Really? I have never noticed (despite being in UK) it must be the larger stores.

  • http://www.facebook.com/babywarez Gerardo Sarabia Molina

    It's not about seeing the hardware, It's about customer service. In fact, I've not bought the charging orb because I am not sure if it worth the price. I wouldn't buy a chromebook, specially like the pixel, if I can't see it and try it first, is so expensive. Maybe retail stores are extra-spending for Google, but for the other side, they would sell more.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      One thing Apple really excel at is support. If your shiny, expensive little wonder has an issue or stops working altogether you can go to an Apple Store's Genius Bar or their helpline.

      I guess you get what you pay for, it's nice to see a reasonable return from the high pricing. Though I do think it would be nice if Google were more into that sort of thing. I feel Google need to have a better relationship with their customers because I would really like a 32GB (or 64GB) Nexus 4. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    There is already a fake Android store: http://cdn.mactrast.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/fake_android_store.jpg

    In seriousness though, I would love to see a real Android store (or a Google store with Android in it) outside of AndroidLand in Melbourne, Australia.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    Wasn't the chromebook pixel made by Lenovo? Even if quietly so? I've heard that somewhere...