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Google store: Is it an Apple wannabe?

Google product manager Kan Li unveils the company's new Chromebook Pixel on February 21, 2013 in San Francisco.

Apple has them and so does Microsoft. And the word is, Google’s gonna have ‘em soon too.

“The rumor started circulating around a week ago about a Google Store, and I think is a terrific idea for Google,” said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at the Altimeter Group.

That rumor stirred up again with the unveiling of Pixel, which will cost about $1,300. Pixel is part of Google’s Chromebook line of computers, which are cloud-based. That means your spreadsheets won’t be on your hard drive but will live online much like your email.

Kirthi Kalyanam, a professor at the Retail Management Institute at Santa Clara University, says the stores would be the perfect place for Google to sell its infamous Google Glass, a wearable computer that sits on your face like eyeglasses.

"Google is pushing the boundaries of what cannot be done and as they push the boundaries, they come with products that are very hard for people to envision or understand," said Kalyanam.

He adds that products like Google Glass will probably need dedicated sales people and a sophisticated display, something big-box retailers like Best Buy can’t provide. But Google might be late to the store trend, says Trip Chowdhry. He's an analyst at Global Equities Research. He says Google risks looking like an Apple wannabe, like Microsoft and its stores.

"The days of opening stores is over. Microsoft is losing because there’s nothing much that they’re offering," Chowdhry said.

He says it’s not just about having products but getting people to buy them.

About the author

Queena Kim covers technology for Marketplace. She lives in the Bay Area.

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