Google has no plans to join Apple and Microsoft in opening retail stores, the company has said.
"Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce," Google's Android chief, Andy Rubin, said during a roundtable with reporters at Mobile World Congress, according to AllThingsD.
Rubin isn't convinced that people need hands-on time with products before buying. Meanwhile, when it comes to the Nexus lineup, the Google exec doesn't think Nexus devices are popular enough just yet to warrant brick-and-mortar stores. "I don't think the programme is far enough along" for stores to make sense, Rubin said, according to ATD.
Google and Android products are, of course, already available in a number of retail outlets, including Currys and PCWorld. Otherwise, buyers can purchase products like the Nexus 7 tablet, Nexus 4 smartphone, or Chromebook laptop via Google Play.
Reports about Google stores first emerged earlier this month in a post from 9to5Mac. The blog's sources speculated that Google's upcoming Project Glass would be more successful if customers could stop by a physical store and try it out. Project Glass, however, is still in its infancy and not yet widely available for purchase.
Microsoft's first retail store popped up in 2009 in conjunction with the launch of Windows 7. In talking about the new Surface tablet recently, Microsoft chief financial officer Peter Klein said that retail stores have in fact boosted sales.
"People really need to touch and see and play with it," Klein said of the Surface during the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. As a result, Microsoft is offering the Surface at more retailers with the Surface Pro launch.
At that same conference, meanwhile, Tim Cook argued that Apple Stores are "like prozac." For him, the retail stores are less about selling and more about serving, he said.
"The store acts as a gathering place; it's a place that has an important role in the community," according to Cook, who said Apple Stores served 120 million people during the last quarter and 370 million in 2012.
"They are the face of Apple for almost all of our customers," he continued. "People don't think about the Cupertino headquarters; they think about the local Apple Store."