AllthingsD is reporting that Android head Andy Rubin is flatly denying knowledge of a retail store in Google’s future.
As for whether Google as a whole might need retail stores, “Google has no plans, and we have nothing to announce,” he said.
I reported last week that Google had plans to open retail stores within the year, and this, according to a quick ping of that same source, is still on. When asked about Rubin’s comments, I was told that Rubin wasn’t being forthcoming or AllThingsD misquoted him. After my report, AllThingsD’s sister company, the Wall Street Journal, also reported that Google would open retail stores.
Google spokesperson Jay Nancarrow declined to comment.
It should be noted that the retail program is being born (we’re told) out of Google’s (X) labs under Sergey Brin and not out of the Android group, and the two groups aren’t always in full cooperation. For instance, while Google’s Glass uses a derivative of Android as the base OS, it doesn’t use Google’s own voice recognition service. It instead opts for a service from Vlingo that was recently acquired by Nuance.
Perhaps this should be looked at under the same lens as Rubin’s “We [Google] aren’t making hardware” statements that were followed by the announcement of the Android hardware division and subsequent purchase of Motorola.
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