Does LG deserve to make the next Nexus?

by: Andrew GrushMay 28, 2013


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?

  • It was a good phone, specs were good, always having the latest version of android Etc BUT There were so many problems, the backglass would break for no reason, the front glass broke easily (mine included) the battery was terrible as well as the camera and the weird static sound when holding your phone up to your ear from the speaker

    I think Google should go to Sony for the next Nexus, call it the Nexus 5Z Or something, ive always liked Sonys deigns and they could implant waterproffness ( is that a word? ) Into the next nexus

    Just my thought

    • I agree, give Sony a stab at the next Nexus phone.

    • Beatriz Cruz

      Yes, Sony makes great phones and has great designs, but they fail at updates… what if they mess up even with a Nexus device?

      • Good point BUT It wouldn’t be up to Sony, if they made a deal with Google they would have to release a stock version of android to the device as soon as an update hits, the manufacturers are merely vessels for the OS

    • TheMimic12

      you make a compelling argument, so if that’s what happens, I guess i can live if HTC doesn’t make it

    • Joshua Hill

      Can’t imagine Sony would sell it to Google at a cheap enough price. After all if any tech company has a history of over pricing it’s….

    • milksop held

      I think Sony should get a chance but of all the problems you listed the only one I have is the camera. With undervolting I manage to get 4.5 – 5 hrs on screen time

    • Jon Langevin

      I’ve experienced none of those issues, love my N4…

  • Matthew Brown

    Too be honest I don’t really care who manufactures the phone. As long as it looks good and has specs to match, I would buy anyway. My loyalties do lie with Samsung and LG however so it would have to be good to draw me away.

    • So in other words, you do care who manufactures the phone.

      • lesta

        nope he means if someone can manufacture better phone than Samsung or LG then he’ll buy it over them.

  • Tony Raffini

    I don’t want an LG, Samsung, or an HTC Nexus. I want a Google Nexus.

    • MasterMuffin

      I’d want, just out of curiosity, a Sony Nexus. I think that every manufacturer should get a chance of making a Nexus, so it’s either Sony’s or Motorola’s time to do it :)

  • Ugo Marceau

    If the Nexus 4 had been Samsung, they would most probably have been able to kick into overdrive and start making phones at a high pace, given the capacity of their production lines. But Samsung doesn’t really need the advertising that comes with building a Nexus device.
    At the moment, I really like the HTC design, so they could have a shot and I feel like they kind of need the attention right now.

  • thomaso del kuzmano

    Google/Motorola Nexus and the rest could get Google edition like S4!

  • Nick Schiwy

    I’m hoping for another HTC Nexus device. I understand the people who want Google to build it themselves but I am very fond of the build quality that HTC is known for and love some of their designs. Historically, companies that have partnered with Google to build a Nexus device have suddenly gotten their act together and become a big name in Android OEMs. HTC may have run out of gas from their last partnership but they were the go-to OEM in android for a few years. I think that having HTC in the game is extremely beneficial to the community as a whole because they stand as the only current competition with Samsung. It may be a weird reason to want OEMs to continue to partner with Google to build the devices but between build quality and HTC’s need to “come back” I would really like to see another HTC Nexus.

    • HitokiriX

      HTC had problems getting their own devices out in time, I don’t think they’d be a front runner in this.

  • Sudeepto Dutta

    Sammy all the way man !!

    And please Google …This time expandable memory & removable back cover okay ???

    GOod :)

    • AndroidBrian

      Expandable memory will never be on a Nexus device. It pretty much defeats the purpose of a Nexus device. But yeah I agree, if they put expandable storage on a Nexus…..

  • freedomspopular

    I’d like to see a different manufacturer every time. Let’s see what HTC and Motorola can bring to the table.

  • Kwadwo Firempong-Boakye

    No LG do not “deserve” to be the next Nexus manufacturer neither does any manufacturer for that matter. I don’t care who makes the next Nexus as long as Google endorses with its philosophy and adds their pure Android touch to cutting edge hardware.

    However I have to say LG really screwed up BIG TIME!! The Nexus 4 could have been THAT PHONE! Almost everything was golden about the device at that time so how did they not figure out that a device of that class at an unprecedented low price would be sold out minutes after it was released? I know there have been articles that claim that it was a strategy to hype up the device. Come on its a Nexus. How much more hype does it need? Even if so, I believe there’s something called advertisements but nooo take it out on the buyers they said; let them scrabble around for the last scrap of bread on the table. No matter how hard I try I just can’t forgive them for that.

    Then months after, when Sony, Samsung and HTC release their flagships, you then decide to release a white version of the same product that can now be considered 2nd tier ? Who are you kidding? I know this comment is very dramatic. Sorry about that but it just really made me sad when I couldn’t get my hands on one after it came out . . . . then again its only a phone right . . .

    • Joshua Hill

      Someone didn’t read the article. Most intelligent commentators seem to think Google farked up their order but fanbois go ahead and blame LG. Go and buy an iPhone your fanboism will be more welcome there.

      • Kwadwo Firempong-Boakye

        True I didn’t read the article. I just came here to comment. Okay an iPhone it is.

        • Joshua Hill

          Cool. I don’t know why I defend LG so much in the Nexus debate, except perhaps they’ve been apportioned blame unfairly, sometimes even by the people that write for tech sites. I’m not a fan of their company, when it comes to electronics I still view them as a hair dryer manufacturer.

          What I don’t understand is why previous Nexus devices didn’t generate this sort of demand. I mean the galaxy nexus was basically a samsung galaxy s2 wasn’t it, which was just as cutting edge as the nexus 4 (for it’s time) yet didn’t generate anywhere near the same demand. Personally I don’t think either company f’d up in regards to order quantities.

          The biggest cock up in affair was the way google didn’t have their store set up adequately, shipped orders to save themselves costs (not 1st in 1st out), tried to pass the buck and had similar problems with the nexus 7 selling out online yet retailers had too much stock. This the real scandal yet nobody seems to want to talk ill of a company that allegedly does no evil.

          • Kwadwo Firempong-Boakye

            lol yeah I guess most people (me included) tend to jab at LG by default when this issue comes up but I don’t know why either. Maybe its ’cause I love Google so much lol. Anyway the Galaxy Nexus was a hit in its own way and was one of the biggest reasons the Nexus 4 became such a highly demanded product in my opinion. I’m not quite sure but up until the Galaxy Nexus, Google seemed to have kept one of their true philosophies of making Nexus devices for developers. However the Galaxy Nexus seemed to have opened a lot more doors to the average consumer to grab one and prove to be a strong contender in the smartphone world. I just think that it took a bit too long for the Galaxy Nexus to get itself internationally commercially noticed and just when people were beginning to think “well this is a great phone, let me get one”, they were advised and inclined to hold on and wait for what Google had in store in the next few couple of months. I think that’s one of the reasons the Nexus 4 was such a hit.

            True the last issue you spoke about is mind boggling. The Nexus 7 was sold out line but relatively briefly compared to the Nexus 4. I think Asus’ arrangement with Google didn’t just lock orders to the Play Store but allowed for supply to other big retailers.

  • Ray

    I don’t think there should be any manufacturer that “deserves” it, but I do feel that it shouldn’t be the same manufacturer for the next year running. The nexus line, besides being the stock experience helps promote certain manufacturers and get phone specs up. Its a tool that Google uses to ensure that there is enough competition in the android phone market.

  • TheMimic12

    The answer is simple. HTC deserves the chance to make the Nexus 5. no one needs it more than them, especially when they finally get it right with hardware, and pure Android is just to die for. Give me something like the HTC One or Droid DNA with no physical buttons (especially the stupid twosome on the One), and that astounding build quality and long battery life. Also, it should be unlocked with LTE support (like on the GS4 GE) and obviously a Sprint version (don’t leave the other Open Handset Alliance carrier gyped again), and possibly one that works on Verizon, but is the CDMA equivalent of unlocked (so that you can just stick a VZW SIM in and go), so there’s none of their crapware, and OS updates come more quickly, before VZW does another Android double-standard

  • Speakeasy

    Last (ever) Samsung device I’ll have was the Behold II. Remember the “upcoming update” videos and promo’s that just disappeared when they decided to stop any support for the device (even before my 2-year agreement was over). I may have been late in the game jumping for my Nexus4, but ordering it directly from Google brought it to my door in much less time than was estimated (good ploy on their part) and I love the phone. LG? Brought it in for a fair price, IMHO. Do we really think that Sony could hit the price point? Doubtful.

  • SContrerasMer

    it would be really nice to see a sony nexus (Xperia nexus?)

    imagine a nexus simmilar to te xperia z, imagina a waterproof nexus

    • AndroidBrian

      Whats this fascination with waterproof phones. Its a cool additional feature but not something I think of when I’m conjuring up my dream phone. I prefer the HTC One design to the sony design.

  • I just ordered a Nexus 4 the other day (My first Nexus device) Looking forward to the experience :)

  • Steve



    Not a fan of the design of the Nexus 4 really so if it’s anything like the Nexus 4 then let somebody else, but if it’s exactly like the Optimus G2 that photos have leaked of and it’s got a 5″ full HD display and large battery then let them build it. Still don’t think it would take me away from my Galaxy Note 2 or Galaxy S4, but you never know it could make its way into my collection as one of my backups.

  • Rooney-

    Earlier rumours were suggesting that the next nexus will be having nikon sensor and some good camera features.
    If they all come true, i would definately consider buying it one.
    P.S if they launch on time here in india.!

  • brendan soliwoda

    I wouldn’t be too opposed to LG making the next Nexus phone. However, I really want to see Sony give a crack at it. The last year, both Sony and LG have stepped up their game in the past year (in regards to the android field) and have produced phones with great engineering features and superb hardware specs and I have definitely noticed it. That’s why my next phone is going to be the Optimus G Pro.

  • Brandon Astro Wakefield

    I say no to LG, they made a great device but they screwed Google over with their ridiculous MSRP, and device availability was somewhat limited. Keeping in mind that you would be paying double if you buy it outside the play store. Partly Google’s fault for not investing more into how they sell their devices, but I really think LG went out there and did a number on Google.

  • Mouhamed Dia

    I think apple should make the next nexus