Not too long ago Google informally released a statement regarding the apparent supply chain issues with the LG-built device. As we all know, ordering a Nexus 4 has been all but an endeavor. Google UK & Ireland Managing Director, Dan Cobley called LG’s supply of Nexus 4’s “scarce and erratic”. While Google seems to have been passing the buck on to LG and their lack of supply, LG is now responding publicly. They’ve basically claimed that the supply is perfectly fine, and that there are no actual shortages with producing the device.
Phandroid took an interesting spin on this story, which dropped last week. Obviously neither Google nor LG wants to appear at fault for the horrendous launch of the [not at all] surprisingly popular Nexus 4. If we look at the landscape of the situation, not only is LG making a lot of behind-the-scenes moves in order to make this phone a success, they also have a competing phone on the market, the Optimus G. While the Nexus 4 is indeed produced and manufactured by LG, it’s a Nexus 4, and is sold and supported by Google. It’s essentially a Google phone. LG’s flagship, the Optimus G, is what the Nexus 4 is largely based on, internally and with design. The point is that LG sells the Optimus G at over $500 and is also subsidized by carriers like AT&T. The Nexus 4, while available on T-Mobile subsidized, is also available as a steal from Google Play directly for $299 and $349 at 8GB and 16GB.
I’m not sure what Google is paying LG for every Nexus 4, but the business side of my brain tends to think LG’s making a bit more on every Optimus G than they are for every Nexus 4 sold to Google. This maybe plenty of reason for LG to optimize production for their own, fully priced Optimus G, over Google’s significantly discounted Nexus 4. If that’s the case, I feel LG is in clearly the green. Either way, I think Google should be in the hot water if there is any. Their ordering system in the Play store is absolutely horrible. I mean any time it takes over two months to receive a device, that’s bad. Not only that, but a few heavily populated forums, like XDA Developers, had users claiming orders were being shipped before others that had already ordered prior. Apparently Google may have started shipping orders not in the order that they were ordered. They may have even been shipping orders at a completely random sort at one point in time.
I personally ended up making three different orders in total. On November 27th I ordered two Nexus 4’s, one for me and one for my girlfriend. Not only did neither one of them ship in the first two weeks after ordering, I canceled one of those orders, and re-ordered another Nexus 4 on December 9th after hearing on XDA that some were receiving shipment confirmations after order in the week of December 6th. I finally canceled the other of my first two orders from November 27th, and my last order from December 9th finally shipped on January 3rd. After almost two months of waiting to get this phone, I finally had one in my hands.