The Nexus 4 is a wonderful device, but it has a fatal flaw. It's damn near impossible to purchase. If you're lucky enough to get through Google's broken online checkout service, then you may find yourself waiting at least four to six weeks to get your new smartphone. Who do we blame for this? At first we said Google, because Google should have been smart enough to know that demand for a $349 premium handset would be off the charts. But then Dan Cobley, the Managing Director of Google UK and Google Ireland, pointed the finger at LG, saying that supplies of the Nexus 4 from them have been “scarce and erratic”.
According to a report that was just filed today in the Korean publication Chosun, an official LG spokesperson told them that production of the Nexus 4 was running “without a hitch”. Are you confused? Because we are.
Here's what we think really happened. Google told LG to make X number of Nexus 4 handsets. LG said no problem and setup a small section of their phone factory to do just that. Google, assuming no one would want to buy the Nexus 4 unlocked and unsubsidized since most people are afraid of paying a lot of money up front, didn't optimize their online shopping software to cope with the additional demand. Put another way, we're still blaming Google.
The LG spokesperson also said that the rumors that were published earlier today about a Nexus 5 were “unfounded”. That's not too surprising. Why would LG tell a news organization that the rumors floating around the internet are true?
Given that Google I/O is in May, we're halfway done through January, and a boat load of 1080p phones were announced at CES, do we still think the Nexus 4 is the best phone to buy right now? Absolutely. And you know what, some of us here even think the one year old Galaxy Nexus from Samsung is still more than adequate.