Google shops unnecessary says Android chief

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Google moved to stem rumours that the search engine giant might follow Apple and Microsoft into the retail business during a roundtable discussion at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

"Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce," Android chief Andy Rubin said at the event, according to a report by AllThingsD.

Rubin said that the Google doesn't need to open any retail outlets as consumers find product information from friends and websites rather than going into shops. "They don't have to go in the store and feel it anymore," he said.

He added that the current line up of Nexus devices aren't quite popular enough to merit their own stores to showcase them. "I don't think the programme is far enough along" for stores to make sense, Rubin said.

Rumours of a possible Google store first emerged early in February. According to a blog post on 9to5Google, its sources speculated that Google's Project Glass would be more successful if customers could try them out in shops. Google currently has Chrome stores within stores at 50 PC World and Currys in the UK.

The blog said that it had an "extremely reliable source" who said Google was planning to launch stores in the US to flog its Nexus and Chromebook products in time for Christmas.

Microsoft began opening it own stores in 2009 across dozens of cities in the US and Canada. Apple opened its first retail outlets in May 2001 and currently has 390 stores worldwide.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.