First Microsoft jumped on the retail-store bandwagon; now Apple stores could face another rival. Google is considering opening its own retail stores, sources tell the Wall Street Journal, but we may not see them for quite a while. An insider says the company may not move on the plan this year. The possibility comes as Google continues to move beyond Web services and software, and may indicate a "change of heart" for CEO Larry Page, who a source says hadn't previously been a big fan of the idea.
Where the stores would be and exactly what they'd sell remains a matter of speculation. Among the likely product candidates: Nexus-brand smartphones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, and even Google Glass, which has a rumored 2014 public debut. Another possibility: The company could push Motorola devices. Microsoft currently has 30 stores and plans to open 11 more, while Apple has some 400, the Journal notes. (Read more Google stories.)