Phones Review

Nexus 4 failure induces alternative choices

Under: LG, Phone Debates
By:Debbie Turner | January 11th, 2013

The hugely popular Google Nexus 4 released in November through the Google Play Store but sold out virtually instantly, leaving many customers without the option to even order one for a later shipping date. Supplies since have been sporadic and those who’ve managed to order one are seeing long shipping dates. Because of this we now wonder whether the continuing lack of stock of the Nexus 4 will induce some potential owners to now consider an alternative choice.

Let’s be clear from the start. When we say ‘Nexus 4 failure’ in our title we are not referring to the actual smartphone itself but instead to the complete failure from Google and LG to come up with anywhere near enough stock to supply demand. We’ve documented how hard it has been for consumers to get hold of the Nexus 4 on many occasions now so won’t go over old ground again although if you want a little background and news on stock availability checkers you can see one of our previous articles here. As for the phone itself we’ve discussed its many merits and concluded it was a hugely impressive handset with a lot to offer many smartphone users, all at an incredibly competitive price.

Nevertheless it almost doesn’t matter how notable this Android phone is or how much enthusiasm there is for it, if customers simply can’t get their hands on it and we’ve had plenty of emails and comments from readers about this to our previous posts. Although many insist they will wait for the Nexus 4 as long as it takes, others say that because of the time it’s taking to get one they are now deliberating about alternative smartphones instead. As more and more time goes by we have noted less people saying they will hold on for the Nexus 4 and more who have lost patience with waiting, which is a real shame for Google and LG who have failed to capitalize on prospective sales.

A look at the Google Play Store today reveals just as we expected, that the 8GB and 16GB Nexus 4 are both still sold out, with no option to order one and there is still no official news on when the phone might come back into stock. This is one of the most annoying factors for many who are waiting, as if there was a concrete or even an approximate date for availability they would be able to make an informed decision on whether they should continue to wait or not. Google and LG may well think that by not giving any timeframe, if stock is still some time away, that consumers will still wait and hope it’s coming soon. However this approach from Google and LG could backfire as without any availability date at all, some customers might assume it’s going to take longer to come back into stock than they originally thought and no doubt some of those have already chosen an alternative rather than wait any longer.

Of course with CES 2013 taking place this week many new phones have been announced that will shortly be coming to the market such as the Sony Xperia Z. Other upcoming Android phones include notable handsets such as the HTC Butterfly and HTC M7 and of course the Samsung Galaxy S4 is also likely to appear in the coming months. Those who are not steadfast Android fans might even consider the upcoming BlackBerry devices that are on the way and will be running the completely overhauled Blackberry OS, BlackBerry 10.

The longer it takes for supplies of the Nexus 4 to come to fruition, the more appealing these other phones will become, even to those who may once have been firmly committed to getting a Nexus 4. We’d like to hear from readers about this and invite you to share your thoughts. Are you still waiting for the Nexus 4 to come back into stock? Will you loyally continue to wait even without any availability date being given by Google or LG? Maybe you originally planned to wait but have now decided to opt for another smartphone, or at least consider a different purchase? Let us know by sending your comments.

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  • rene

    google should check lg consistency before go with nexus to lg.
    personally they should stay with sammy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jason.mayfieldlewis Jason Mayfield-Lewis

      But the Nexus 4 feels and looks like a quality handset. Don’t get me wrong, my other half’s S2 has been great – and the S3 is a clearly a nice phone, but they look and feel so flimsy and cheap (especially the S3 with its tacky, shiny plastic and ugly rounded design)… Which is why I have a One X. Worst decision ever, because hTC’s policy with regard to warranties, bootloader unlocking and updates is a joke. But it is nicely built :D

      Perhaps Google can convince Samsung to radically alter the build and materials of their handsets for the next Nexus device…

  • trey

    HTC would also make a good. Why don’t they at least release an availability update? This makes them look really bad.

  • entigy

    Ordered my N4 on 4 Dec, with an estimated shipping of 4-5 weeks. Arrived 28 Dec, so slightly ahead of schedule. As a replacement for my ageing & sluggish Iphone 3G I can’t fault it. Everything I was looking for – responsive, nice big screen, JB 4.2.1 and, most importantly, half the price of an Iphone 5.

    • Harry

      Lucky, I ordere mine on December 5th and I am still waiting

      • http://www.facebook.com/FelipeAmad0 Felipe Amado

        Same here. I ordered on December 5th and the shipping estimate was 5-6 weeks.. They are late =/

  • andy

    I am prepared to wait, currently have a Samsung Galaxy Ace which was my first smartphone and is working fine, but have been seduced by Nexus 4 even more so since I seen one in the flesh at a phone shop.

  • elsie

    Upgrading on the three network this phone was offered to me on a lower tariff than advertised. Sounds like three are now pushing this phone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.archer.710 Sarah Archer

      wot offer did u get

  • Riliwan Sanni

    I just got a job and i’m planning on getting nexus 4 but i’m not happy about the availabilty, if i have enough money and it still isn’t available, i will get a different phone. shame on google and lg.

  • chinny

    I am fed up with the lack of news from Google and LG on this, I got a new Vodafone contract with an S3, I currently have an S2, was going to sell both and make cash but I might just keep the S3 now. I will probably not consider a Nexus at all in future, they have shown complete lack of accountability and piss poor organisation…how difficult would a warranty claim on one of these be? I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess.

    • Rambir

      Trust me when I say the Nexus experience is the best for Android. It had the cleanest OS and is constantly updated. Have been an avid Nexus user since the Nexus S and will never regret it. I wouldn’t blame Google as Samsung didn’t mess up at all. Blame LG as they make the phone and when the Nexus 5 comes out hope that Samsung or HTC or even Sony make it.

    • gordon

      You should consider the new BB10 that is coming out in February. There is so much excitement with its new OS and its features that the stock has almost tripled in the last 4 months. Look at thew demos on YouTube and you will see what I mean

  • demi

    for the Nexus 4, really expect an announcement from google/lg… its pretty clear that the created or unavoidable hype has turned out to be pissing off situation… need a commitment badly at this hour… companies can hav big issues, i hav no doubts ’bout that but they can be sorted out in a month m sure… this is starting to show conflicts, and no customer centric approach with google …

  • Ivanhoe

    Epic fail by some of the smartest geeks in the business. Wonder if Apple ever caused such blunders?

  • gb

    waited for almost 2 months for the nexus 4. Finally bought an iphone 5 today. paid almost double for the phone, but needed it, and could not wait any longer

  • Mikrouwel

    I wish google will do something because of the outcry from its supporters…

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.archer.710 Sarah Archer

    i rang three to upgrade and they offered me nexus said it wil be delivered on monday, so they must have some instock..

    • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.archer.710 Sarah Archer

      ordered phone on fri and came on mon thanks 3..

  • s10shane

    i ordered one from t-mobile customer service and its been 5 days now and it still shows my order is on back order. i’m getting tired of waiting for the nexus 4. i sold my galaxy nexus to pay for my upgrade to the N4. i’m trying to wait it out but i have no phone at all till the nexus 4 gets to my house. i was thinking about getting the GS3 on t-mobile but they want 80 dollars more for it over the N4. i cant see paying more money for less of a phone. the hardware is really what i like in the N4 and the fast android updates. for the money its a win win.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jgawoods Julian Woods

    I’ll wait for as long as it takes, had a nokia N8 which broke unfortunately, then got a Samsung Galaxy Ace from 3 on contract which I can’t believe still has Android 2.3 or something way old. I bought a Nexus 7 when they came out last year and that’s great so need a phone with latest Android on it so will wait for a Nexus as they are the only ones that run the latest version.

  • Jo

    I ordered mine on the 8th of December with a 4-6 week lead time and I am still waiting, I’m really disappointed that I haven’t heard anything from Google regarding when it is likely to appear

  • sharath naik

    nexus 5 should me Motorola.

  • Mat

    I really want one. The main reason is stock android and not having to wait forever for updates. Secondly the price. But at this point I’m in the middle of a relocation to North Carolina and I really want to upgrade my phone and change carriers either before or when I get there. I’m down to the wire and no answer in site, I may either have to bite the bullet and get a sammy nexus or go with a totally different phone (unlocked preferably).

    Pretty discouraging considering my current circumstances :(

  • Posterboy

    This article is on point. I’ve been waiting for a couple weeks now and I used to be a firm believer. Sadly, I’m sick of waiting and frankly waiting isn’t my biggest problem because I have great patience. What really kills me is the fact that I don’t know exactly how long its going to take the product to hit the store again. 1 month, 2 months, 3 months would be fine with me but its really irritating that they don’t have a firm date. I might decide to give up soon and pursue another option. Many people my age would spring for the Iphone, because of social influence but I’ve always had more enthusiasm for android products.

  • BLADESMAN1889

    I’m a frequenter of the UK XDA thread – my views are that Google have shown utter contempt to its most loyal of fans/android fans. The silence as you say is the most shocking display of customer care for those still wanting to order but most importantly the guys who have already ordered and are anxious about their order based on the debacle so far. Then there are those whose deadline has just this week GONE !

    Yet despite this there has been no word from Google whatsoever – aside from the intervention by Dan before Xmas – I believe that this was naive on his part as his is the only response/comment so far – and I also think that he has been advised not to get involved again – there has been no comment from him since – yet the post count on his G+ page has exceeded 400 – some begging him for answers as to where their phones are.

    He has stayed shtumm. I would love to know which version of ‘Good Customer Care’ guide they are using – they seem to be clueless as to the damage this shambles is doing to the POSITIVE reviews that the phone has gotten. There are now dozens of these kind of articles – not to mention the views of those waiting. I have also noted how many of these guys awaiting orders are android newbies getting their first Smartphone or switching over from apple – how embarrassing ! These are exactly the type of customers that Google should be trying to impress/poach and what this Nexus launch was about – you don’t have to spend £500+ for a quality phone.

    • Mikle

      :) bullshit

  • paul

    Been waiting for three weeks for re-stock but now very very tempted to buy a different phone , shame really this phone could have been one of top selling phones

  • PeterC

    Total shambles. I’m now fed up waiting for the Nexus 4 and will be buying a different handset. Google have made a total mess of this – they completely under estimated consumer demand and they totally got it wrong choosing LG as a supplier.

    Unbelievable poor management decision making. The only thing stopping me is the price of other handsets is so much more than the N4, but considering Google cant supply or even take back orders for the handset its *price point* is totally irrelevant as they cant even hope to supply! Seriously suspicious that the handsets are available from network providers for over £100 more…? and they seem to have stock!

    Come on Google pull your finger out…. and at least make some PR announcement on forthcoming stock and availability. Time to face up to your pissed off public.

  • Kishan

    I bought a nexus 4, used it for 1 week and unfortunately dropped it. The screen broke nd the touch is not responsive! Luckyly, the credit card I used to purchase it hd it insured for 3 months for theft and damages! But now, I am not able to reorder it, as there is no stock!! Really feeling very bad and pissed ryt now!

  • Phil Landerer

    I really want this phone. I have sold my iPhone to pay for it. The lack of info on availability is making my blood boil. What attracts me is stock android. I have had so many issues with Samsung updates. My 2 grand 55in TV is out of date within two yrs and no apps available, my galaxy tab… let’s not even go there. So I really want stock android. I’m considering an SG3 and rooting it when key lime pie comes out, as Samsung won’t realease that I bet, they will not update in order to force people into getting new hardware. If you want stock android…get a galaxy S3 and root it. That’s what I did with my first generation galaxy 7. Now runs jelly bean.

  • Superfunkybob

    Ordered my 16g on 4th Dec, was dispatched on 17th Dec…. Courier however lost my phone on route. Told Google who said they will have to cancel order and refund me and that I will have to place a new order… Hmmm thanks Google for your help yeah!!! Lodged complaint etc nothings happened, actually got an email today (12/01/13) saying refund was going through… I phone looking mighty tempting I have got to say

  • lawnjay

    Ordered the N4 8GB on 27 Nov, order still pending. Possibly more anxious than those who can’t order at all, if (as rumored) the production is being reduced in favor of other LG devices. Have already waited nearly the “7-8 weeks” quoted; but now, who knows?

    BTW, I worked for AOL during the time that they made a foray into branded devices. What a disaster: inventory, shipping, returns, support – they were poorly prepared for any of it. It would have been far worse had many people actually WANTED the devices (a custom BlackBerry, a dial-up net appliance, the AOL TV); official support ended even before the inventory was cleared, I think.

  • barbarella

    Sadly google cannot even be bothered to reply to email requests for information on stock availability. Even if they have no confirmed date good customer service dictates a reply. Sadly if a simple email regarding this is ignored you have to wonder at the service they will provide for any problems should you buy and say have a faulty handset. Its very discouraging and I for one will be looking elsewhere.

  • brapat

    Nexus 4 is clearly the best value smartphone on the market by a long way, and possibly the best, full stop. But by making such a balls up of delivering this phone to market, and continuing to add to the mess more each day by keeping quiet, Google and LG (particularly Google) have caused irreparable damage to their reputation – and they’ve managed to cause this self-inflicted damage with one of the best products out there – incredible!!! The scale of the balls up is so unbelievable, it genuinely has me wondering whether this is deliberate and there is actually a more sinister ulterior motive for all this. I was an avid Google-follower until this!!!

  • Ad

    I have waited since the rumours of the nexus 4 first started (like august/September). Do I keep waiting or buy something off contact for a similar price like GS3 or HTC One X +?

  • http://karmamule.wordpress.com Eddie Yasi

    Ordered my 16gb on December 14th and just got it last Thursday. Lovely phone and well worth the wait if you can. (This is my secondary phone so was in no rush to get it.)

    There are going to be lots of beautiful phones coming out, but not reference devices and not at this price point. If I were to imagine not already having it, my main concern in thinking about ordering it would be when the nexus 5 would be out. Since that’s probably not until this fall, I think I’d still go ahead and order a nexus 4 if they became available in the next month or so.

  • Osama Shammout

    I don’t see that it’s
    Fail ! From google or lg they re great partners I can’t see any mistakes except the stock about me I will stay waiting until end of my life coz it really rule everything in it the new android verzion andd the shape gorila glass i nd the price I c wating it is the best option

  • baya

    Im not sure of the price difference but why dont you all get the optimus g?

    • Rambir

      It costs twice as much, it’s not a pure Google experience and is available in less countries, only the USA, South Korea and Japan.

  • Bourne 1948

    Managed to get an order in for a 16gb Nexus 4 on the 5th Dec, Google Play now says status 2nd Jan, but so far squat.
    I’m in no hurry, if it comes, it comes. I have an HTC Desire S, which I’m waiting to upgrade to ICS after the Nexus 4 arrives.
    I ordered this phone after having had a great experience with the Nexus 7 tablet, which I bought last July.
    The Nexus 4 must be hurting LG sales and other of Google partners, Samsung Galaxy SIII, HTC One etc, so I think the shortage is more to do with corporate politics than anything else.

  • Marc V

    I waited… got up early on the day of release, was looking forward to ditching the iphone…. then the utter contemptuous stock debarcle took place. Bought a Huawei Ascend G300… my first android phone, updated to ICS and I’m very pleased… it would seem that Google and Apple should look to the East, there’s a storm coming gentlemen… and you don’t want to be left out in the cold!

  • bartelbe

    WIth the Nexus 4 google has managed to change a product that could have made them, and given the Nexus brand the kind of status and loyalty that Apple had, into a product that is damaging their reputation. By the time the incompetents at Google get their act together, the competition will have come to market will alternatives, that will make the Nexus 4 look less special.

    I also quite agree about communication, it is shockingly bad for a firm of Google’s size and experience.

  • Jon Salisbury

    I don’t think you can blame LG at this point. Google haven’t said it was LG’s fault or admitted responsibility themselves – they haven’t said anything! Why?
    Perhaps because they have tried a completely naive marketing campaign which shafts most of their customers. Now they realise it was a terrible plan but they aren’t prepared to admit it and can’t lay the blame on LG so they’re still hoping it will work out…

    So what was their plan. Make an outstanding phone and release an initial batch at an unbelievable price point – create massive hype and demand. Then only offer availability through retailers and networks (perhaps have a contract with them to this end?) Hope that customers are so desperate for the phone that they will sign up to long contracts to get it. Problem is: customers don’t want to get locked in to long contracts. That’s why the price point of this phone was a game changer.
    So have google tried to screw customers for the benefit of retailers and networks and eventually themselves? And in doing so pissed off A LOT of customers?
    I guess time will tell? I predict that google play won’t stock the phone again, certainly not in any sort of quantity because google would make too much of a loss and they never really intended on selling many at this price point – it was just a bad marketing move. I’d be happy to be proved wrong though, I’d buy two if they ever became available again.

    • Rambir

      A Google executive said that the shortage is down to LG and their ‘erratic supply’ . And now there are rumours that LG have stopped making it altogether. It is LGs fault and you never saw these problems before from Samsung or HTC. Also they hate retailers and carriers and that is the Galaxy Nexus from Verizon was a fail, because Google were not in control of the Android experience.

  • gregor clegane

    make the galaxy sII+ with 4.1 for the same price and able to pick up tmobiles spectrum and I believe my choice will be made.obviously they didnt anticipate this kind of response based on previous sales numbers.The voice of the people is now loud and clear”We want phones that cost less than a loptop and perform nearly as well as the highest perfomance smart phones”

  • http://twitter.com/ajaxlovr Josh

    Given the nature of the industry, the Nexus 4 will become outdated in the next few months, so if they don’t have stock by March you’re better off waiting for the M7, S4, or the Motorola Nexus that hasn’t been confirmed but is definitely happening. The low price of the N4 makes it possible to replace it after a shorter period, so is definitely good to have for 6 or so months until the next most amazing thing comes out in the autumn

  • Yan

    luckily, I got my nexus 4 already. But I have a hard date that I need to get my smartphone by (Jan 20th ish), so if I have missed the 2nd round the availability (in which later orders won’t be shipped out until Feb), I would have totally go something else, likely the iPhone 4s on virgin mobile…

  • Jim

    I’ve had enough of waiting for this. With no updates on an estimated date suggests they either dont know how long if there is a problem which they have not announced. I’m going to guess there is a fundamental problem which cannot be ironed out and would rather play the silent game than admit a fault.

    Only time will tell. On every new handset I’ve got, its been brand new and never a problem to get a hold of. Its been two months and still not sorted. Think I’ll keep my HTC until a new Samsung comes out. Lost faith in LG/Google partnership. With the 2013 Mobile World Congress around the corner, I’ll be keeping my eyes out on a new alternative.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.archer.710 Sarah Archer

    ordered my nexus 4 from 3 on friday and it came on monday as promised.. thanks 3..

  • Baggy

    It says something that so many have lambasted Google for not having enough stock of a product we all want. It is frustrating for us consumers, but surely the biggest frustration must be for Google themselves. Imagine having a product that everyone wanted but just not able to get it to them. As the article says, we will stop waiting and go elsewhere, customers lost to google. I’m one of them, as I wait for the Nexus, my Galaxy S2 is having technical problems, I’m fed up of it and now ‘need’ a new phone. Can’t wait much longer Google! S3 here I come?

  • Michael

    Having had to wait nearly 2 years before Samsung upgraded my Galaxy s to gingerbread the reason i want a Nexus 4 is to avoid that sort of delay plus of course not having bloatware on my mobile

  • Herb

    Deciding that I no longer wanting to wait for Google/LG to get their act together, I went out and picked up the LG Optimus L9 last week. Granted the specs on this phone don’t match up to the Nexus 4 however I now have a new phone and I am pleasantly surprised with everything about it. $199.00 at Tmobile. Will I buy the Nexus 4 when it finally is availabe. Probably not….

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