Feb 26th, 2013

After we talked about how nice a Google retail store would be, rumors began ramping up that Google would actually look to launch a small crop of stores either later this year or early next year. Why not, right? The Nexus program has skyrocketed, the ChromeBook Pixel needs a home, and you have a lot of third-party partners that would love to get their Android and Chrome-based products on your shelves. It all seemed to make sense… until the godfather of Android — Andy Rubin — decided to crush our hopes and dreams.

As reported by AllThingsD, the Android chief decided to address the rumors in a round-table discussion, saying “Google has no plans and we have nothing to announce.” Furthermore, Rubin doesn’t even believe the Nexus program is far enough along to warrant needing a retail store. This suggests two things:

  1. It would suggest Google isn’t looking to third-party OEMs to help fill out store shelves. As we suspected, Google’s not interested in getting into favoritism or pushing the wares of others. Leave that to WalMart, Best Buy, and the carriers.
  2. It also suggests Google hasn’t completely turned down the idea of a retail store in the future. The Mountain View corporation could reconsider if the Nexus line ever gets active enough.

Rubin also decided to touch on Firefox OS. Being the noble man that he is, he says there are no ill feelings toward the development. Rubin understands that Android has evolved into a beast of a mobile operating system, and that the world still needs something to fill out the category of devices that have limited specs. Some might say this would imply Firefox OS will only be useful to provide low-end options for emerging markets, but we won’t stir the pot too heavily.

Rubin says Android was originally built because there was no open option, but things are changing. Ubuntu has come with a very intriguing suite of its own even if it has no major backers yet, and, well, there’s Firefox now. Tizen is still floating about, but for now it seems like more of an enthusiast project than anything. The options exist, and Google’s happy that there will be others challenging the very space that helped Android’s rise to prominence in the first place.

Competition is always exciting, and the users are the ones who ultimately win out in the end. We love us some Android, of course, and we’re excited to see how these other players will challenge Google to innovate and keep the interest of the mobile world for years to come.

[via AllThingsD 1, 2]

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