Google opening showrooms to push holiday gadget sales
Google is ramping up its efforts to get more of its devices into consumers' hands this holiday season.
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The company is opening several showrooms—called Winter Wonderlabs—across the U.S. where people can get their hands on Google's Nexus 7 tablets, Chromebooks and its Chromecast video streaming device. Consumers, though, won't be able to buy the devices to take home from the showroom, however, they can place an order for a device while visiting the space.
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While Google's move to show off its products to the public in showrooms puts some pressure on competitors like Apple—which has a strong retail presence—and Microsoft—which continues to exapnd its stores—its showroom strategy is really taking aim at Samsung, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner.
"Google is gearing up to push Motorola and Nexus as the best experience for Android," she said. "But in order to get consumers to move away from Samsung and other brands—although mainly Samsung—they need to make it easier for them to try out these devices."
While Google's Android operating system accounted for 81 percent market share in the smartphone market during the third quarter, according to data from International Data Corp., most of the devices running on Android are not Google products, but smartphones made by Samsung.
Android vendors in the third quarter
In fact, Samsung accounted for 39.9 percent of all Android shipments in the third quarter, according to the IDC data.
Google wants to change that. The tech company sees the best Android experience as only being available on its tablets and smartphones, and the only way to convey this to consumers is to actually get its products in their hands, Milanesi said.
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The company is also not shying away from gimmicky tactics to get people in the door. The company is installing a life-size snow globe in the showrooms where people can take slow-motion video of themselves.
Google is opening showrooms in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Calif., and Paramus, N.J.
The company is also in the process of building a barge in the San Francisco Bay where it plans to showcase new technologies and products.
—By CNBC's Cadie Thompson. Follow her on Twitter @CadieThompson.