Does LG deserve to make the next Nexus?

May 28, 2013
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LG-Nexus-4

Earlier today LG confirmed that they are not currently working on any Nexus device right now, despite what the rumor mill suggests. However, the company did make it clear that they would consider the opportunity, if offered. This leads to us to ask the question: Does LG even deserve another shot at the Nexus game?

On one hand, the Nexus 4 received tons of positive attention and sold out at every turn. On the other, we have the whole “out of stock” debacle, though it’s hard to say exactly who’s fault that is.

LG seems to still hold to the idea that Google under-ordered and when demand was higher than expected, LG just couldn’t keep up. For Google’s part, some execs pointed the finger at LG, saying “supplies from the manufacturer are scarce and erratic”, though the official company stance simply was that there is “work to be done managing our supply better”, leaving it at that.

We will probably never know the whole story, but the truth is likely that Google did under-estimate the huge demand and LG simply couldn’t turn things around as quickly as needed. Could Samsung, HTC, Sony or Motorola have done a better job at kicking things into high-gear and turning the shortage issues around? Again, we really don’t know.

You do have to wonder how many customers were lost from the shortage of supplies. For that matter it would be nice to get an official count on how many Nexus 4 devices have sold. We have seen a few estimates, but nothing official. The best guess is that Nexus 4 has sold “over a million units”, though in reality, only Google and LG know for sure. For those keeping score, it is worth mentioning that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus only sold around 500,000 between November 2011 and August 2012.

Of course the Nexus line isn’t about making money or selling millions of devices, it is about providing a bloat-free, stock Android experience that is extremely developer friendly. To that end, the LG Nexus 4 was a phenomenal success. It might not be without its quirks, but ultimately the handset is reasonably durable, very beautiful and a vast improvement over past Nexus devices.

Would consumers be open to another LG Nexus?

The Nexus 4 was a success in many ways, but the past supply issues still haunt the phone’s reputation, even today. Honestly, it doesn’t matter who was at fault, the damage is done.

Some of us have probably gotten over the frustration and wouldn’t hesitate to buy another LG Nexus device, probably because we eventually did get the Nexus 4 and saw just how great it really was. For those that were burned by low stock issues and eventually decided to get something other than a Nexus, it might be a lot more difficult to let things go.

I believe LG has come a long ways in recent times and, even after the Nexus 4, has shown off some great devices such as the Optimus G Pro. To that end, I wouldn’t be opposed to another LG Nexus smartphone. I don’t fault LG for the stock issues encountered with the Nexus 4 (at least not completely) and think they could deliver something great. Still, it might be best to hand someone else the reigns for a while.

The Nexus 4 really catapulted LG forward and gave the company a great marketing boost, stock problems aside. Now it might be time to let someone else benefit from the Nexus effect (HTC, perhaps). What do you think, does LG deserve a crack at the next Nexus smartphone, or do you feel that it’s best Google pick someone else?

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