Nexus 4 stock fiasco but not just the phone that is MIA

If there’s one smartphone story that has disappointed us this year, it has been the saga of the Google Nexus 4 made by LG. The lack of stock persists with many potential buyers left hanging on, either waiting weeks for orders or not even being able to place an order. It’s such a shame when the phone itself looks so mightily impressive and it’s success, in a way, has been its own downfall. Today though we want to turn to the fact that it’s not just the phone that’s MIA, but there has also been a distinct lack of official accessories, so Google seems to have missed another golden opportunity.

We must stress right here at the start that nothing we say is a criticism of the Nexus 4 itself. We couldn’t be more impressed with this high-end low-cost phone and only wish we could get our mitts on one ourselves. We have documented the sorry tale of the dearth of stock since it was first released back on November 13, and so we won’t go over all that old ground again. However if you want to read more about the background check out this recent post of ours. Summing up though we can say that apart from the odd window of opportunity to order through the Google Play Store where it has sold out almost instantly each time, it has been virtually impossible to obtain the Nexus 4 through Google.

In some regions many readers now have shipping dates of several weeks to receive orders that they managed to place, while in other regions the phone is simply listed as ‘sold out’ with no order option available. Looking at the Google Play Store today we can see that both the 8GB and 16GB models are listed as ‘sold out’ and a message tells hopeful customers to check back soon. This is proving highly frustrating for many people who are constantly finding themselves checking to see if stock is back in and the lack of communication about this from Google is one of the things we’ve criticized most strongly.

However something else that is concerning us is that there is also a scarcity of Nexus 4 accessories for those who have been fortunate enough to actually obtain the phone. This is a huge area for extra sales with major device launches and yet Google also seems to have dropped the ball in this area. The only official accessory that we’ve seen so far for the Nexus 4 is a bumper case, also available through Google Play. Sadly, just the same as with the phone itself, the bumper case quickly sold out and on checking Google Play today we find it still listed as out of stock and not available to order.

So what about other official Nexus 4 accessories from Google or LG? To be honest unless there’s something we haven’t yet heard about it’s a big fat zilch on this score. Google really seems to have missed a chance here for extra sales and as the bumper case sold out so quickly you would imagine that they would have realized other accessories would currently go down a storm. An article on Computerworld makes an excellent point about this and tells how there have been no other cases, docks or anything else for the Nexus 4. Apparently there was talk for a while of a charging “orb” but there doesn’t seem to have been any sighting of this yet.

The same point can be made for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets. A magnetic cover for the Nexus 10 has been tested and reviewed and yet still hasn’t become available for sale. We also previously told about a dock for the Nexus 7, which looked as though it would be available soon but has not actually appeared. It doesn’t seem too much for consumers to ask that a major device be launched with plenty of official accessories available. This is something that many of us enjoy splashing out a bit of extra cash on when we buy our shiny new phones and so the lack of accessories is a real mystery and we wonder how Google can explain this?

Maybe they have enough on their hands to cope with because of the shortages of the Nexus 4, that they haven’t been able to turn their attention elsewhere but we’d say again that those lucky enough to already be using a Nexus 4 might well be disappointed at the absence of official accessories. Of course the whole unsatisfying story may have been exacerbated for some as we recently told about two new videos posted to YouTube, a product movie about the phone from LG and a Google video showing the new Photo Sphere function of the Nexus 4.

The videos show the phone off excellently and many more people who saw them might now also want to purchase the Nexus 4 as they do a good job of making the phone look pretty irresistible. However it’s a rather strange decision to release the videos when the phone is still so difficult to get hold of, a bit like a kick in the teeth teasing potential customers then saying they can’t have it anyway! We’re not sure of Google’s marketing strategy on this one, promoting something that’s just not available, but then we can’t fathom the way that Google has handled the whole Nexus 4 launch.

We’d like to hear from readers about the Nexus 4 stock fiasco and also the lack of official accessories. Are you still keen to get hold of a Nexus 4 and will wait as long as it takes? What do you think of the absence of accessories for this hit smartphone? Maybe you’re one of the lucky few who have the Nexus 4 and want to taunt the rest of us by telling us just how good (or not) it is? Let us have your comments.


84 thoughts on “Nexus 4 stock fiasco but not just the phone that is MIA”

        1. Ermm… why is that reason not to buy any phone? Just buy the latest 6-month iteration (I don’t know what schedule you’re on about but I’ll stick with it) when your 2/3-year-old phone becomes too outdated to use… you don’t need to make the choice to either avoid every phone they release or buy every phone they release… lol

    1. SammyG says:

      Unlike EVERY other new android phone on the market, this phone gets updated from the guys that actually MADE the OS.

      What if Windows didn’t update itself? What if your OS updates came from the manufacturer of your laptop? What if they were delayed by 6 months? What if, despite continued support for the OS by Microsoft, HP/Toshiba/Sony decided that it’s better to not give you those updates and make you buy a new laptop for the latest windows features?

      Well.. welcome to every non-Nexus android experience on the planet.

      The camera and screen will eventually fall behind a bit, but they’re of sufficient quality to be used for the next couple of years without an issue.

      It’s the best Android experience you’re ever going to find, and has the longest period before becoming outdated of ANY android phone.

      You get a grip… obviously reality has slipped away from you.

      1. CM should be your friend. I do love this phone though, no idea how some reviews called it anything but stunning though, it looks as futuristic as a phone possibly can, just a slab of glass. Love the minimalism.

  1. I think the Google announcement yesterday (through Wall Street Journal rumor mill) that they are creating a new X Phone with Motorola for release next year answers a lot of this. It seems that the Nexus 4 is now an ex-phone as well. When a company tries to get you interested in their next product before the present product is widely available – it says volumes. This project (Nexus 4) is done before it starts. “Google Designing ‘X Phone’ to Rival Apple, Samsung” ~ Wall Street Journal

    1. XXX says:

      I totally agree with you. What is disappointing about Google is that they giving up so quickly on any project. Look for example nexus Q or even chrome desktop from Acer. They have great ideas but they are not polished. We are living today in a world of media where is the devil in details. Before jumping from one project to another, they should work hard on it and present it as it is the only product between there hands. Passing is not enough, they should excel.

    2. The fact that Google is developing another phone takes away from this phone? I guess by that logic the iPhone 5 was garbage before it hit shelves as once it was production ready, Apple already had it’s teams set on the next iPhone.

      1. dannyto12 says:

        I think the point is that Apple have not announced the next iPhone and when it is announced we know we will be able to buy it. Google seems to have already moved on and let the Nexus 4 be as it is, insufficient stock and with out many accessories.

        1. Foot in your mouth now huh? The supply shortages were them not anticipating the demand at all, they order 10% of what they should have. The orb is looking very slick as well, I think I might just get one. It is a developer phone, not really meant to be a general consumer phone, but I do love the $30 / month.

  2. jaybird says:

    I’m an Android and nothing’s gonna change that. I do want this phone and it is frustrating, but the lack of accessories spans the entire android world. It’s insane, but I’m sure Google doesn’t care if there are accessories out there for this phone. They probably don’t make any money on the phone and make it back through the play store. I bet the big G loves that it’s sold out, remember when you needed to be invited to gmail? They crave that exclusive feeling!

  3. Tim Richardson says:

    Yes a Fiasco! Google seems to have hit a home run with the Nexus 4, but they are going around the bases in a wheelchair. Currently, the sales life of a new cutting edge phone is 6-9 months at best. Google is missing an opportunity to grab a bit of market share and make more of a name for themselves in the mobile phone market. The Nexus 4 will not seem nearly as appealing 3-6 months from now. The boys at Apple seem to know how to get the job done when it comes to supply chain and production scale issues. This is a missed opportunity for Google. Lighting in bottle (the Nexus 4) is not an easy thing to accomplish. The jackasses at Google/LG seem to be frittering it away!

      1. TacticalTimbo says:

        I have a conspiracy theory that LG doesn’t want to provide stock…just look at the price, it heavily undermines their own Optimus G, and for that matter the flagships of all other handset makers. Heck, even some low to mid tier handsets cost more; the only people this price level benefits is Google.

    1. The sales life of a $299 unlocked beast of a phone? Oh they don’t normally sell for $299.
      Apple sells the iPhone year round so not sure about the 6-9 months.
      As for the point of the Nexus program, it’s to tell OEMs what they’re doing wrong and point them in the direction of the future of Android, not to directly compete. Limit availability of the N4 and show OEMs how to build a proper phone. That’s why they make a Nexus.

  4. Duane Lee says:

    I ordered when shipping estimate said 6-7 weeks. Dec. 7th I believe and it shipped the next day. I dunno why but I sure was happy about it. I just need a case and charge pad now.

    1. I just keep my phone in a pouch that I made out of microfiber cloth and tape, keeps my phone pristine. No scratches or prints on it, smoothest screen ever, I love how fingers fall right off the lack of an edge.

  5. androidcatdog says:

    I ordered a Nexus 4 but it took too long to ship. I was going to leave Verizon just to use this beauty. I gave up waiting and I am VERY glad that I did. Galaxy Note 2 w/ unlimited data, spacious huge keyboard and all the rest. I will ROM for updates…this beast is the iphone slayer to be sure. Cheers 🙂

    1. dannyto12 says:

      With the Nexus 4 costing what it does I couldn’t even look at the Note 2, sure it’s a beast – no denying that but I don’t like Samsung’s skin or the price tag.

  6. Mike says:

    T-mobile had the 16 gb model for sale yesterday on a $400 value plan. I can live with that but it has a a retail value of $550 so if it breaks you will be paying almost double. It is odd that they had a few of them for sale.

  7. Chucky says:

    I’ve had this phone for about 2 weeks now and everyone, hater or not, this phone can be described as perfection. Everything about it is amazing so its definitely worth the wait everyone promise

  8. androidisbest says:

    I used this phone for two weeks and returned it to Google. It would freeze up in camera mode and have to be rebooted, also periodically took callers straight to voicemail (once or twice a day) even when it had full reception. That also required a reboot. Going back to my Galaxy Nexus which has been the best phone I’ve ever owned!

    1. You didn’t just RMA as you got a defective phone? At least RMA then Ebay and make a profit. Oh wait, you didn’t actually get a phone, you’re angry you couldn’t order one. I have one, have had for about a month, best smartphone bar none.

      1. TacticalTimbo says:

        Really, how presumptuous, you don’t know that by a long shot…god you’re an asshole…I hate people like you! Haven’t you thought of the possibility that they don’t have boat loads of stock, sitting around for replacements?!

  9. If Google is trying to boost its Android market share, it sure isn’t trying hard enough. Maybe they placed too much focus on the Motorola X-Phone for next year.

    In either case, I got tired of waiting, and I already delayed my upgrade for 6 months, so it narrowed down to Apple iPhone 5 and Nokia Lumia 920. Sadly, Lumia 920 Matte Cyan is also out of stock, pulled the trigger on iPhone 5 at Frys for $126. That’s my Christmas present 🙂

  10. I bought a Google Nexus One the day it came out, and that was such a great experience, I have 3 of them, though my daughter swiped 2 of them while I am deployed. I am not usually that fond of anything LG does, but I will check this phone out when i get home and have a need for an update to my communications capabilities. Rule #1, it has to be a great sounding cell phone first, all else is just bells and whistles. This is why I do not have an iphone, they always sounded funny on the first couple models.

  11. It’s a fiasco because the lack of stock is deliberate. LG doesn’t want consumers thinking that they can pay less to get more. The expensive phone are not only more expensive, but they are subsidized (even the unlocked version) and come loaded with crap-ware.

    If consumers all of a sudden think that they can start paying $300 for a high-end phone, things will start to change. Phones are always 600 to 900 when they first come out (Galaxy S3, iPhone 5, Lumia 920) and have always been this way (RAZR V3)

      1. Indydi says:

        To be precise, it’s Foxconn employees assembling devices FOR Apple. That makes it no less of an injustice, especially since Apple knows the conditions under which these people work. Do you really have to resort to childish name calling?

        1. ChetanTakyar says:

          I sincerely apologise for calling you a moron, yes some parts of your point are true but every company that uses Foxconn has these issues. It’s only overblown because its Apple. Now I would like to point(before I’m called a rabid apple fanboy) iOS for the iPhone is terrible for my use and I am jumping ship from the 4S to the N4.

  12. Bryan Haywood says:

    I bought the bumper case and screen protectors… Which sucks cause I don’t even have the phone or even ordered it yet. I’m thinking about buying a nokia wireless charger since they both use the qi standard. It’s 70 bucks though… I’ll wait till I get the phone first before that. Can buy a nexus 4 on ebay but you’re paying 100-200 dollars more than the phone cost… I hate that it’s obvious that some people bought multiple ones to make money off of.. They should have made the limits 2 per ip address and account. There are some who are selling 5-6 nexus 4s at the same time… I even saw someone who had a quantity of 10!

  13. blisterpeanuts says:

    I got a Nexus 7 back in July and I love it; it’s my go-to tablet even though my first love was an Ipad2. I use my employer-supplied Galaxy Nexus from day to day and hope to replace it with my own Nexus 4 in a month or two. You listening, Google? Loyal customer here, hoping to give you his money!

  14. BaltoStar says:

    Amazing so much discussion so little actual info. Google is being disruptive here – not just to handset makers but to carriers as well. That’s why no stock and no 4G. Kudos to Google for f’ing with ’em. No one else will. Apple makes quality product but otherwise does no favors to consumers. Even unlocked GSM iPhone 5 is for their pocketbook not yours. Why don’t any G insiders comment with real info ? Too scared ?

  15. dannyto12 says:

    Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 are fantastic and I am a proud owner! But I am really let down by the lack of docks, charging orbs and cases 🙁 I am dying to finally get rid of my iPod and be able to dock my phone into some speakers – if the charging orb has speakers too I would be so happy!

  16. warwulf says:

    I just got my confirmation my Nexus 4 has been shipped. Waited about a month for it. But I agree with the article. It should not be this hard to get a phone or accessories for that matter. Google was clearly not ready to enter the hardware business (blaming LG for the stock problems…really? why cant I buy a Nexus 10? Blame Samsung? come on!). They really need to get their act together. Perhaps a melding of Google and Motorolla is just what the doctor ordered. Cheers.

    1. Fred says:

      it does. i have 3410 and the sound is horrible, no sentbox (to check drunk-sent messages) and the battery lasts a day although I have changed it twice

  17. Aidas says:

    Guys, does anyone remember, when LG announced Nexus 4 back in October, they were talking about the price tag in the range of $600s. Would we be talking about it today if it happened? Google insisted it has to be accessible to wider audiences. No wonder there is such a demand now – best phone on a market, SIM free – for under $300! I imagine you could hardly find a single person on a planet not considering it. How many is that? Shall we blame or thank Google? Shall we be understanding, and patient? Just think of a long-term effect – Google is very consistent in setting up new standard – best technology for an affordable price – isn’t it what we are all dreaming of? Yes, it is sold out today, but I will get it, if not January, – in February or March. Looking forward to this, and all future devices Google is working on.

  18. Zdr says:

    It’s a total fiasco with no end in sight. I was quite annoyed when the similar thing was happening with iphone, and I do have a better things to do in my life than hitting f5 daily in front of my screen. I will probably opt for some chinese dual-cores, as they are available now. World will not stop turning while google is trying to get their act together. Competition has no mercy, and takes no prisoners.

  19. Jallum says:

    I bought mine for Christmas, after the N4 16GB came back on sale in the UK for a while. That was on the 2nd of December, now its the 6th of January….and I’m still waiting for it

  20. Flinty says:

    Nice phone. Really wanted one, but the stock fiasco and lack of communication and good customer care from Google speaks volumes. Not going to bother buying anything from Google anymore. I’ll spend my money with a company that communicates PROPERLY with it’s user base and a company that exhibits SOME degree of customer care.

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