The Nexus 4 was made official earlier this week, even though Google had to cancel the media event scheduled for October 29 due to Hurricane Sandy’s arrival. While we knew pretty much everything there was to know about the Nexus 4 in terms of specs and features well ahead of the announcement, we had no idea how much the handset will cost.
Google surprised many people with its aggressive pricing scheme, $299 for the 8GB version and $349 for the 16GB version – these are unlocked, therefore unsubsidized prices for a high-end Android smartphone that’s largely similar to LG’s flagship smartphone, the LG Optimus G.
Sure, the device does not offer 4G LTE support at a time when more and more carriers are investing in upgrading their networks to offer their subscribers access to the newest communication standard. And yes, that’s because Google is yet to come out as a winner in its negotiations with mobile operators around the world, especially U.S.-based ones.
And the lack of microSD support, especially for the 8GB version, may be a deal breaker for hardcore Android users that need more storage for their digital content purchases. But still, at $349, the 16GB Nexus 4 is a great deal especially this holiday season.
When it comes to availability, the Nexus 4 is selling in various markets straight from Google’s Play Store, with European pricing currently at €299 and €349 for the two available models.
But is LG happy with that pricing structure for a device that’s certainly going to help its own Android-related business? Google can afford to sell products at cost as long as it makes money off of search and digital content sales. But LG and any other gadget maker that would be chosen to build Nexus smartphones are making money from handset sales. And they most likely aren’t ready to sell high-end devices at cost, are they?
Phone House – or Carphone Warehouse’s Spain division – reveals in a recent post on its Facebook page that it won’t sell the Nexus 4 as LG is apparently requiring the company to sell the device at €599, which is what you’d expect a high-end smartphone to cost these days. Here’s the Google translation of that Facebook post:
Phone House, the largest independent chain of telecommunications in Europe and Spain, it will release the new Google Nexus 4 and LG, whose launch was scheduled for November 13 in the catalog of this month
Phone House has decided to suspend the sale of this product after finding that the recommended retail price by LG of 599 € and conditions offered for commercialization are worse than the MSRP published by Google on its website and does not maintain the commitment with customers and offer the lowest price guarantee that characterizes Phone House.
This message seems to suggest that LG would rather have electronics retailers sell the Nexus 4 at a premium price, and we’re certainly waiting for updates on the matter from LG and Google. What will happen to international LG Nexus 4 potential buyers that can’t buy the device from Google’s Play Store? Will they have to pay a premium price to a local handset retailer?
Carphone Warehouse has the LG Nexus 4 listed in its online store with prices starting at £0 with new contracts of at least £31 per month. However, the device can’t be purchased unlocked at this time, and prices go as high as £219.99 when selecting the handset with a £16.50 monthly data plan from O2.
What’s the most you would pay for an unlocked LG Nexus 4?