updated 03:32 pm EST, Tue February 26, 2013
Discussion at Mobile World Conference denies rumors
At a hour-long round table discussion at the Mobile World Conference, Google's Android chief Andy Rubin refuted rumors that the search engine needed to open retail stores. In response to reporter questions, Rubin said that the market had shifted, and customers "don't have to go in the store and feel it anymore."
Rubin also stated that the Nexus hardware was still in its infancy, saying that "for Nexus, I don't think the program is far enough along to think about the necessity of having these things in a retail store." Putting a lid on the rumors, at least for now, he concluded with "Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce."
The rumor postulated that the stores would help to educate customers on the Google Glass device, as few customers would be willing to buy an item that is expected to retail for $1,500, putting it well out of impulse purchase range for most US consumers. The store idea could also have served to highlight products like the new Chrome Pixel notebook, or Google's driverless cars.