The battle between Apple, Microsoft and Google in the mobile space could be about to get serious, with Google reportedly set to follow the competition in launching bricks-and-mortar retail stores.
The search giant is reportedly planning to open its retail stores across major U.S. cities early as the 2013 holiday season, according to 9to5Google, which cited an “extremely reliable source” for the information.
This isn’t the first time rumors have emerged on a Google store. Bloomberg BusinessWeek recently unearthed a planning application filed by the company for it to set up a retail store at its European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.
Should any of these stores become reality they would certainly help Google in distributing its products, such as the Nexus 7 tablet, Nexus 4 smartphone and Chrombook laptops, all of which are primarily sold online.
Apple and Microsoft both have retail stores up and running across the globe, with the former operating 395 stores in 14 countries (at the last count in August 2012). Indeed, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that the iPad may not have been such a success, if it wasn't for the firm's collection of retail outlets.
“One of the things that’s not understood that well about the stores is that I don’t think we would have been nearly as successful in the iPad as an example if it weren’t for our stores,” said Cook, when speaking at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet conference last week.