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Google launches new online store for phones, tablets, laptops

With Google Store, the search giant once again tries its hand at a specific website for Google branded devices, like Nexus phones and Chromebook laptops.

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People can now buy phones, tablets and laptops from the Google Store. Google

Google is launching a new website focused on selling its hardware products, the company's latest effort to attract buyers to its devices.

The search giant on Wednesday announced the Google Store, a website where people can buy physical products including the company's Nexus smartphones and tablets, Chromebook laptops, Chromecast streaming devices, and more. The store will also sell devices like Nest, an Internet-connected thermostat the company bought last year.

The move separates Google's efforts to sell hardware from its Google Play store, which is used to sell software like mobile apps, movies and music.

It also follows Apple's approach to business. The iPhone maker has long maintained separate online stores, selling music, movies and apps through its iTunes music store and App Store, while selling iPhones, iPads and Macs through a storefront on its website. Not all companies do this. Amazon, for example uses one storefront to sell both its hardware and media.

Google is mimicking Apple in other ways as well. Earlier Wednesday, Google unveiled a new retail , where it will sell its devices and hold classes and events to teach people how to use products. Apple has physical retail stores as well, of course.

This is not the first time Google has tried to sell hardware directly to customers. When the company introduced its first Nexus phone in 2010, it launched a dedicated online store where people could buy the phones. Google later moved sales of Nexus phones to outside retailers. The company eventually began offering phones on its Play store too, but has until now shied away from running a dedicated storefront to sell Google-powered hardware.

But five years later, with a growing line of devices, Google is hoping a hardware-specific site will have a better draw this time around.

"As we've added more products to the family, we thought it was time to make it easier for you to learn more about them," Google said in a blog post.

Google timed the launch of the online Google Store with the release of its latest device: the second generation of its Chromebook Pixel laptop , which will also be sold on the store. The store will also sell accessories like chargers and phone cases.

Google said it will offer free shipping on products bought on the Google Store, for a limited time. People who recently bought devices from the Google Play store will have their order information automatically transferred to the new store.