Google’s Andy Rubin denies his company is working on its own retail stores:

A few years ago, consumers needed to touch and feel devices, but these days they can often get the information they need to make a purchase decision by talking to friends and reading reviews.

“They don’t have to go in the store and feel it anymore,” Rubin said, during a roundtable with reporters at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday.

That’s absolutely true. Nobody goes to Apple retail stores to get some time with the new products, nobody at all. Those stores are basically empty all the time. Rubin is TOTALLY right.


  • Anthony Domanico

    I think you go a little far with the namecalling, but your point is spot on.

  • Ben Randolph

    The comment is moronic, but maybe he is thinking about Microsoft stores. In which case, he has a point.

  • SiMBa37

    This guy always has that smug grin on his fact that his stock options are worth more than an entire generation of my family.

  • BC2009

    Has Andy Rubin ever said anything intelligent? If Samsung usurps Android from Google and go their own way with a fork, Andy will have been responsible for Google investing in a multi-billion dollar open-source operating system that Google will have no control over. I think Andy Rubin will ultimately be the death of Google.

    • tylernol

      I agree with that. Android is already out of Google’s control. Samsung is the only one making money off it and as I have pointed out before, Samsung is enhancing their “Galaxy” brand, and not mentioning it is built upon Android. Easy for them to fork off soon like Amazon has.

      • Tvaddic

        I would agree with you but Samsung makes other Google devices, like Chrombooks and the Nexus 10. It seems like their releasing ship is strengthening.

    • Steven Fisher

      I’m not convinced Rubin has much knowledge about what’s going on at Google outside of the Android OS.

  • Well most of the iPhones are sold outside US. And most of those places do not have these apple stores. So for most people in this planet Rubin might be right.

    • Techpm

      Actually a lot of the world has Apple stores, it’s officially in 14 countries and those who don’t have authorised dealers which Apple tightly regulates.

  • Techpm

    Rubin also said “Your phone shouldn’t be your assistant” and then 8 months later publicly launched Google Now.

    Everything he says is misinformation and spin.

  • Steve Jobs also said things one day, and did things differently the next, to protect secrets that the company was working on, or because of simple changes in thinking. (Example: “Tweener” tablets like the iPad mini.)

  • Tvaddic

    I think this is his, “Nobody wants to watch videos on an iPod moment ” Considering Google already has a few stores around the world.

  • Zeatrix

    I have to agree. I very seldomly go to stores and touch the stuff I buy. Case in point: When I bought my home cinema a few years back I never saw anything in person before I ordered it and it was equipment for about $10,000. I trust reviews and other peoples opinions.

    • Steven Fisher

      You may agree for you, but are you willing to generalize your shopping habits to the giant group of “consumers” in the world like Rubin has?

      I doubt it.

      This demonstrates a problem with Rubin’s thinking that I’ve seen frequently in the programming world, but even more so in open source: a complete lack of ability to consider the feelings, patterns and rights of people who are not perfectly aligned with their own. Basically, not just ignoring the values of people unlike themselves but actively belittling them.

      • Sure there are still many people who like to touch, feel and buy products from traditional retailers. But the numbers are clearly on a rapid decline. Established businesses who cater to these people are failing every week all over the developed world. In previous years these stores were complaining about foot traffic coming to touch and feel but not necessarily buy, now these establishments are ghost towns for large parts of the day.

        I think the essential point Rubin was making is accurate. And I don’t think he was belittling anyone. It probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to pump money into a retail experience when the tide is moving in the opposite direction – a declining market. That’s just business sense.

        • Steven Fisher

          Let’s be clear. The quote:

          “[Consumers] don’t have to go in the store and feel it anymore.”

          That thing you want to do? You don’t have to, see?

  • Brian

    Yeah, nobody goes to the Apple stores anymore because they’re too crowded.

  • Quaker Otis

    Google should open their own stores. I envision them like the reference librarian in her sweater and hair bun making sure that no one destroys or defaces the encyclopedia.

    • Steven Fisher

      Unless, of course, the person pays Google to deface the book, based on how many times the book is borrowed.

  • Julie

    Calling him a moron? I expect more from this site.

    • I doubt Andy Rubin will be losing too much sleep about what a Jim Dalrymple thinks of him. The man who heads up the Android OS team versus the man who runs a pro-Apple link blog.

  • Terry

    Or this is just the PC speeds and feeds mentality. A lot of people got to experience the intangibles at the Apple Stores and able to see what you get rather than just specs and prices. For the consumer that cares, it makes a world of difference.

    But if you already know Apple and its products, buying the products online or in store is just the difference of when you get it. (if in stock, of course.)