When it comes to Google’s flagship Nexus 4 smartphone, availability has always been a persistent problem since the phone launched back in November. The device continues to fluctuate in and out of stock on a daily basis, prompting Google’s CEO to come forward and acknowledge the issue.
While executives at Google and manufacturer LG have continuously pointed fingers at one another to pass the blame in recent months, the search engine giant confronted these shortages during its quarterly earnings conference call last week. Google CEO Larry Page didn’t delve into specifics, but did say that fixing the Nexus supply line would be a goal for the company’s team, according to a transcript from the phone call.
"Clearly there is work to be done in managing our supply better, besides building a great customer experience that is a priority for our teams," he said when speaking about Google's line of Nexus devices.
Although Page recognized that the supply chain issues affecting the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 need to be addressed, it is unclear how much Google can actually do to boost production from LG and Samsung, the manufacturer behind the Nexus 10 tablet.
This isn’t the first time Google has spoken out to address these supply shortages. In the middle of December, the company’s managing director for its UK and Ireland branches issued an apology to customers. Google’s Dan Cobley wrote in Google + post that these shortages are “unacceptable” and reassured Nexus 4 fans that the team is “working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue.”
Cobley seemingly pushed the blame toward LG’s side of the operation, saying that supplies from the manufacturer are “scarce and erratic,” and that there has been poor communication between the two parties.
“I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in the process,” Cobley wrote.
It’s also worth noting that Google has not revealed any solid production estimates, and neither has any of its hardware partners. The Nexus 10’s availability has been much more stable than the Nexus 4’s, but is still worth addressing.
At the time of this writing, both the 8GB and 16GB versions of the Nexus 4 are currently sold out in the US Google Play store. The in-demand handset made its debut on T-Mobile’s network on Jan. 24, and sold out after its first day of availability with the carrier.
Google’s Nexus 4 is arguably one of the most appealing Android-based smartphones on the market, largely due to its eye-catching price. Customers have the option of purchasing the handset unlocked and contract-free directly through Google starting at $299 for the 8GB model and $349 for the 16GB variant.
Most premium smartphones cost upwards of $500 unlocked, but major carriers often offer subsidies with two-year contracts that chop that price in half. This unlocked version works on GSM carrier networks such as AT&T, and Google also recently partnered with T-Mobile to offer a subsidized version via T-Mobile for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
The Nexus 4 comes with Google’s most recent iteration of its mobile operating system, Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, right out of the box. Google’s family of Nexus devices is always the first to receive Android updates, meaning that this will continue to be true for the Nexus 4 as subsequent versions of Android are released.
Additionally, the Nexus 4 features a 4.7-inch screen with a pixel resolution of 1280 x 768 at 320 pixels per inch (ppi). As a point of reference, the Retina Display on Apple's iPhone 5 only has 326 ppi and the Super AMOLED display on Samsung’s Galaxy S3 features just 306 ppi.
Other specs and features include a whopping 2,100 mAh battery, micro USB and HDMI connectivity, a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, and a Corning Gorilla Glass 2-crafted screen. It’s certainly a bargain for the price, but of course there’s always a catch: no 4G LTE connectivity. However, some clever hackers have already (unofficially) discovered ways to configure the speedier network to work on the Nexus 4.
To contact the editor, e-mail: