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Andy Rubin Downplays Need For Google Retail, Stops Short Of Nixing Idea


Rumors have been floating around that Google was planning on launching a chain of brick and mortar stores. You know, to sell show off their latest greatest gadgetry in the “real world.” We were even kind of stoked on the idea over here at Geekosystem. Alas, the real world doesn’t much care for what ideas we like and don’t like, because the real world is a cruel, harsh mistress. Andy Rubin, the Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content at Google, threw a bucket of cold water on speculation about Google retail sites, though he didn’t quite 86 the notion altogether. Hit the jump to read what he’s said about it.

We suppose that Rubin would know best…right? After all, people used to like to go and see things for themselves, hold the objects in their hands, give them a physical test-drive. You know — to see if the products are what they really want. Now that you can just go online, read product descriptions, and get vague impressions from reviews or friends, though, actually touching things — like an animal — is sooooo last century. For instance, you don’t want to try Google Glass for yourself when it comes out, do you? Why go to all the hassle when you can just read about it on a blog and send your money away to Google? It’s so much easier for everyone concerned that way. Especially Google.

When he was asked if the company as a whole was still considering the possibility of retail spots, Rubin told reporters, “Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce.”

So that’s that. Which is a shame. It sounds like a pretty simple business decision, though not one that’s ultimately not about the needs or wants of the consumer. Brick and mortars are dwindling these days, though, — it’s bad times for Best Buy, for example — and while we might like the idea, it’s hard to make the argument that Google would be well-served by a foray into meatspace.

(AllThingsD, images courtesy Wikipedia, and Joi on Flickr)

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