Google retail stores will prove it’s a hardware company

Google logoGoogle is set to open some retail stores for displaying and selling its hardware, 9to5 Google reported Friday. An unnamed source states that Google will use its offline presence to highlight and demonstrate its products to potential customers in order to pull the gadgets out of an increasingly large sea of black slabs, many of which also run Android, and give them a spotlight.

Apple has enjoyed enormous success with its retail stores, though not just because holding a product in your hands helps you get a better idea of how it works. The stores also serve to highlight Apple’s products apart from the pack where they might otherwise settle, even fade, in a more egalitarian setting like a Best Buy or AT&T store. In an electronics store, an iPad is a black slab of a tablet among a gaggle of black slab tablets; in an Apple store, an iPad is an iPad.

Microsoft followed Apple's lead by creating a number of branded stores that serve to sell its Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 devices, including its own Surface tablet. If Google does the same, it could highlight the cohesiveness of its Android and Chrome experience the way Apple does for iOS and OS X and Microsoft does for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 by collecting the devices together in a room.

As 9to5Google points out, Google has maintained Chrome kiosks within certain electronics stores for some time now, which does in part isolate the devices but can’t quite provide the same experience, as it asks customers to ignore the top-down experience provided by the rest of the store. A Google store that shows Nexus phones and tablets, Chromebooks, and possibly, eventually, Google Glass might be the company’s attempt to change the perception that it’s just a software company.

According to 9to5Google, the stores will open before the end of the year.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Google

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