Can Retail Stores Provide Growth For Chrome?

Posted on 03. Oct, 2011 by in Chrome, Chrome OS

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It seems to be coming clearer how Google wants to position Chrome retail products, and as a result the first devices have only appeared online. Unfortunately, their ease of use would dictate that the company would need to go ahead and get Chromebooks as well as other Chrome OS devices into retail stores where people can actually have a chance to interact with them and possibly purchase one. This is a strategy that has boded well for Apple, as since the time that the company made the controversial move to get into retail its fortunes have increased dramatically.

It’s been announced that Google has opened a “Chrome Zone” located inside an electronics store called PC World in London. It’s a smart move, and continues with a slow pace of introducing Chromebooks to the masses. Already one can find similar Chrome testing grounds located within the San Francisco airport and at the Ace Hotel in New York City.

I’m curious as to why Google is not developing the retail market with some holiday pop-up stores in the United States, but I am going to assume that there are even less people in Europe that are familiar with Chrome OS so that may be why there is more impetus on Google to try to test these things across the pond with the London store within a store, which is pictured below.

chromezonelondonThe holiday season is a perfect time for Google to try to promote Chromebooks, but what might be even more beneficial for the company is to find a way to get its hardware partners to reduce the retail price for the devices. This likely is going to be a complicated affair, since Samsung and Asus took technical business risks just to get involved with selling these devices. Another element likely complicating pricing factors is that any adjustment to the retail side of the devices brings to debate how the monthly Chromebooks for Business and Chromebooks for Education would be impacted.

As prices are lowered on the retail side, which is inevitable over time, what happens to the monthly subscription fee for organizations that are buying hardware that is not as “new” as when the models first arrived months ago? It’s an interesting question, and it seems to be that on the surface Google is trying to just figure this out as time goes one, making decisions along the way. What’s very much true is the fact that they are in Chrome for the very long haul as it fits their overall strategy very well.

via Business Insider, ZDNet UK

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