Google Gaps on Retail Store Rumors (Update 1)
The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm's reportedly thinking about opening up its own line of retail stores, according to 9to5Google. The stores will sell Google-branded hardware, according to the report, similar to Apple's massively successful Apple Stores.
Citing sources familiar with the matter, 9to5Google reported that the first stores could open in major metropolitan areas by the end by the end of the year.
Google has become more like Apple in recent years, moving away from just software and services, and developing its own hardware. The company's Nexus 7 tablet, for example, has been a hit. Google now has its own lineup of Nexus products; a Nexus 4 smartphone, as well as the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. The company's also working on Google Glasses, which it showed off at its Google I/O developer conference in June 2012.
Google acquired Motorola Mobility last year, and is reportedly working on its own secret "iPhone killer," dubbed the X phone.
Aside from hardware, Google has plenty of Android-based devices to show off. Samsung, LG and others use the Android operating system for their smartphones and tablets. Amazon (AMZN) even uses a version of Android on its Kindle Fire tablets, though the look is drastically different from most Android-based tablets.
Google could also show off various of Chromebook-based computers. Chromebooks run on Google Chrome's operating system, and are designed to compete with Apple's MacBook Air laptops.