Like a lot of kids, I had a fishing hole. Mine was located about a mile away from my boyhood home. The perch there would bite on anything: worms, hot dogs or hot dog buns. Your could throw a twig in the water and the perch thought someone rang the dinner bell.
The tech press are a lot like the perch in that watering hole. Anything that smells like EXCLUSIVE and contains Apple or Google immediately sends the technoverse into a frenzy of reposting. Some of the better rumors, like the iWatch, contain a tantalizing nugget of truthiness. Some of them sound more like the rumors about the iPad HD. Google’s rumored foray into the retail segment sounded a lot like the latter. What would Google stock these things with? The Nexus Q? The Chromebook Pixel? You could make the argument that they could use these to feature Android smartphones, to which I’d reply that there’s already a bazillion outlets one could go to if one wanted to have Google’s shartphones pushed on them: they’re the outlets with the “Verizon” and “AT&T” logos on them.
And so just as quickly as the froth was built, so was it dissipated. Andy Rubin said as much at a reporters’ roundtable at Mobile World Congress today. “They don’t have to go in the store and feel it anymore,” Rubin said as a dismissal of a retail outlet being a necessity when hawking its wares. “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.”
Apparently, some people do feel the need to go into a store to “feel it.” Apple’s retail stores make the most money of any retail presence on the planet – twice as much as the 2nd place entry. I’m sure the estimate of how much money would be spent dusting in these stores annually factored prominently in the pro-forma. Or maybe Rubin meant that people could “feel it” by firing up Google in their browsers and seeing ads eerily similar to keywords in their personal emails. Probably both.