Feb 26 AT 2:52 PM Dustin Earley 24 Comments

Google will continue to rely on the web to sell hardware


Google’s track record with selling hardware online isn’t great. Starting with the Nexus One, product launches have been met with everything from botched consumer support to sporadic supply. But that doesn’t mean Google is giving up. Google has gone on the record to make it clear that selling hardware on the Play Store is here to stay and that retail locations are not in the company’s immediate future.

During a roundtable discussion with Google executives at Mobile World Congress, distribution methods of Google branded hardware were a hot topic. Now that Google is pushing tablets, phones, laptops and accessories that all bear the Google or Nexus name, the future of how Google plans to sell these items has come under question.

Recent rumors have indicated that Google is working on retail locations where products currently sold in the Play Store right would be available for hands on demos. Until now, the portfolio of hardware sold under Google’s name hasn’t been robust enough to justify opening up shop in tech savvy cities across the globe. Industry pundits have all been echoing a similar position that now is the time, but Google’s Andy Rubin and VP of Google Play Jamie Rosenberg do not agree.

Both Rubin and Rosenberg had choice words on the matter. Rubin stated, “Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce,” when asked about Google opening retail locations. Rosenberg confirmed that the devices section on the Play Store is “here to stay.” Rosenberg went on to address the issues Google has seen with product launches, saying that Google is getting better and adding that the Play Store is “a reliable way for us to get these devices into markets in different countries around the world.”

Of course you should never say never with Google. Who knows what the future might hold? If the Nexus program and Chromebooks continue to rise in popularity and Motorola’s next products are a big hit, Google branded retail locations might not be too far off. Even if Google does open retail locations eventually, it’s good to know the Play Store will remain in business. Google says the experience is improving, and we agree. Let’s just see how it holds up if Google announces anything new at I/O.

Via: The Verge

Source: All Things D

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • snowbdr89

    That’s fine n all but can we rely on Google or the maker to keep up with the demand!!

    • vforvortex

      Google as a company has a record of being a quick learner. So i will bet my money that the next release will be much smoother.

      • redraider133

        Except the nexus 1 had same problems and was only sold through google store. Hope they get it right for the next nexus.

  • Burnd

    Hmm, suppose for now it’s for the best.

  • Max.Steel

    After the DISASTER that was the Nexus 4 launch, I’m not sure Google should stick to web. Surprising that this is the same company that handles of billions of information requests and multiple products and services on millions of devices everyday yet can’t handle a simple web store. Pathetic.

    • bigmexican

      It wasnt a disaster,it was high demand it happens everywhere nike has the same issues when they release limited edition shoes!

    • Monk

      If they can keep the demand in their own webpage, it doesn’t make sense to add other channels. First they have to do better demand estimates

      • reddragonman

        Like fulfillment through Amazon. A company that has that whole supply chain thing completely figured out.

  • thel0nerang3r

    I don’t see how having retail stores would help the supply issue If any, it would be worse.

  • aranea

    Google is a publicly traded company. I don’t think they could confirm opening retail stores anyways. So it can still happen.

  • Jeremy Sheehan

    Too bad. I would have liked to go into one of these stores. I guess I will have to continue to window shop online. *sigh*

  • chris kari

    Google are not a computer company or cell phone/tablet manufacturer. They are just trying to goad the other manufacturers to do better. It’s like some kind of expensive geeky science project. So far it has’nt worked & looks like failing. If they don’t get serious Android will fragment into irrelavance as Blackberry & Micro$oft catch up & overtake.
    It’s very possible.

    • vforvortex

      70% market share of smart phones in the world with android is a “geeky science project that hasnt worked? Wow. Please come out of your bubble.

      • jcommaroto

        There is an extremely unrealistic expectation set by “analysts” and media/tech journalists that large companies must always make perfect decisions and never fail or face difficulties. Just because Google is a massive company doesn’t mean it can just magically become a retailer overnight and not face the same issues of creating the right supply to meet demand that all retailers face.

        Also most of these people have never dealt with Google’s support and service on their other products. I’ve talked to representatives across their various ad platforms. One hand doesn’t know what the other is doing. Legacy infrastructure doesn’t talk to new infrastructure. It is often a giant mess. They have ad platforms I want to pay them to use but I cannot get the right person from the right department on the phone because the people I reach only know their domain and nothing outside of it.

        Google has a lot of issues but that doesn’t mean the company cannot solve them or shouldn’t try. Just because they are large & dominant in one industry doesn’t mean they can just instantly be the same in another without tribulation.

    • Max.Steel

      Stupid iSheep.

  • honourbound68

    i just hope that they have good projections for how much the google moto x phone will sell at launch.

  • Nathan D.

    Hopefully, Google learn from this and will have a better online market.

  • CTown

    Google has nothing to announce; not even a device from a certain hardware company that they bought about a year ago?

  • donger

    I have brought my Nexus devices online thru Google.

  • Sameer

    Google is phenomenal of Internet. They are selling other product on using Adsense and Adworlds
    why they can not sell their own

  • Memo

    The amazing Memo Pad from Asus has been launched for a mere $200!


  • surethom

    Its customer service that needs to improve, someone to talk to on the phone & problems & maybe somewhere to get the problem fixed.?

  • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

    They desperately need to expand the web store to more countries. I would love to order a Nexus in Romania from the Play Store. They should at least set up a warehouse in every major country or at least open up the store to countries like Romania. I bet that paying for transportation will be better than ordering a Nexus device using an obscure way (like a friend from the States) and not being able to benefit from warranty.

  • Perry

    What I’ve wondered for some time is why the Devices section of the Play store is missing from the app. If I want to buy devices using my phone or tablet I need to log into the Play store through a browser instead. The app should sell everything that the browser store can.