If you’re looking forward to the day when you can buy Google Glass from a retail store, because you don’t want to fight through a potentially frustrating Google Play ordering process, a new rumor could give you hope. It comes from renowned Glasshole Robert Scoble, who wrote on his Google+ page he heard the firm was striking a deal with Best Buy.
However, rather than simply finding Glass on a shelf, he claims Google is going to rent a substantial amount of in-store space from Best Buy, and dedicate at least some of it to promote and sell Glass. As a Google Glass Explorer, Scoble has some experience of what it’s like to buy Glass, and points out the spectacles must be fitted to your face, hence the importance of buying a pair in a retail environment.
Not only that, Glass isn’t like a phone, laptop, or even a smartwatch, as it provides an experience like no other product on the market, and may not be for everyone. Trying it out before getting out your wallet could be essential, and again, not something that’s possible if it’s only available online.
As for the amount of space Google is said to be renting, it’s a massive 6,000 square feet. That sounds like a lot, even if it plans to fill it with all its Nexus and Chromebook products too, but it’s no different to the average size an Apple Store circa 2006, although they’ve grown considerably larger since then.
It also fits in with Best Buy’s downsizing initiative from two years ago, when it was confirmed the retailer was looking to sublease between 4,000 and 15,000 square feet of space to other companies. According to the LA Times, the average size of a Best Buy is 45,000 square feet, so Google grabbing 6,000 sounds about right.
Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely we’ll be queuing up to buy Glass from Best Buy, or Google Play for that matter, this year. In a recent ComputerWorld report, a Google source said Glass wouldn’t be out until 2014, which despite earlier indications it would arrive in 2013, corresponds with Eric Schmidt’s April estimate.
Updated on 08/23/2013 by Andy: We contacted Best Buy for a comment on the story. While there was no confirmation of a deal with Google was forthcoming, there was certainly no denial either. Here’s what company spokesman Jon Sandler told us, “At this point, we do not have plans to announce more collaborations. However, as our CEO Hubert Joly said during earnings this week, if a partnership makes sense for our customers, the vendor and Best Buy, we would be open to considering expansion.”
Article originally published on 08/22/2013