Google likely didn’t realize how popular Nexus 4 would be, says LG

Daniel Bader

December 6, 2012 6:44 pm


Google probably didn’t anticipate just how popular its $309/$359 Nexus 4 would be, said an LG rep earlier this week. The company manufacturers the Nexus device but doesn’t go much beyond that, and Google likely didn’t order nearly enough devices from them — that, or LG was too busy meeting its own production quotas — to satiate the hundreds of thousands of customers it received over the past few weeks.

While first-day sales estimates aren’t known, the LG rep confirmed that “demand via the Play Store has been very high in this instance.” Andy Coughlin, head of LG’s UK branch, said that the company works very closely with its manufacturing partners to ensure it meets demands set out by initial forecasts. In this case, it seems that Google far underestimated its first-day sales demand, and on subsequent stock renewals.

Earlier this week, Canada went through its second round of ordering; the United States had a private ordering party last week and the U.K. and parts of Europe this week as well. Google has staggered its delivery dates to ensure that, unlike on previous days, they won’t have to  put the Nexus 4 on backorder.

What this points to is that Google and LG are working together to build more Nexus 4’s and are doing so in as timely a manner as they possibly can.

Source: CNET UK

  • Aiden

    I think it’s popularity would be a no brainer…

    • EvanK

      I think that they knew it would be popular with the geeks/hackers/devs, but they didn’t realize that there are this many of us :P

    • wes

      Not just geeks and hackers. It’s just priced very competitively. I ordered one for my GF, and she’s no geek or hacker. I’m ordering one for myself when they have stock.

      Something Microsoft needs to learn. It doesn’t matter how good your product is, but if the price is not right, you won’t make many sales. Persuasion of price is sometimes > that product persuasion, unless you’re Apple and have taken the time and effort to create branding with marketing.

    • EvanK

      @wes

      Totally agree with you regarding costs, but the majority of average Canadian consumers don’t order their phones from Google, they go into a carrier and get whichever one is cheapest on contract. It’s a sad reality, hopefully this at least starts reversing that habbit.

    • phreezerburn

      People need to recognize the lesson learned in the first Nexus. Never tie too much liquidity into a market driven by a tech savvy user base as they expect better on a continuous basis. Setup for smaller runs equates to rapidly evolving devices and Nexus products have pretty much gone from crawling out of the ocean to reaching space in real time. Also while the iPhone has a user base infinitely less willing to spelunk into their handset’s abilities than does Android in general, the Fandroid (very much Goggle’s user) appears one step away from becoming one of those chaps who read white papers each morning with their coffee.

  • dv

    A nexus phone with these specs, at this price..You don’t say..

    • Gene

      Pretty sure this was a controlled Launch by Google. they know how many galaxy nexus phones shipped,they had email lists for the N4. They had a very good idea of how many people wanted this device. These are some of the smartest marketing guys on the planet. We will see a controlled launch by RIM with BB10 also. Seems to be the trend to create a shortage buzz to hype the product into demand.

  • ALopez

    I’m waiting for BB10. The Nexus 4 is garbage. BB10 is a microkernel QNX OS, is Google OS? No. Is iOS? No. GARBAGE!

    • Acco

      Do you even know what the hell a microkernel is? Stop using buzzwords if you don’t know what they mean.

    • Acco

      But, I’ll expand here quickly… so that people know what the heck it means… (and butcher it, to make it understandable)

      Microkernels provide a bare minimum set of services, which means that there’s less tight coupling of higher level services with the base level. Because of the not-as-tight coupling, microkernel OS’s generally have a larger performance overhead (not a good thing)… but also have better security because applications only have the bare minimum number of privileges needed to operate.

    • Jim R

      Microkernels are arguably also easier to maintain and extend as it’s generally easier to debug and develop services that are applications vs services that are part of a monolithic kernel (e.g. a file system). But the performance knock against microkernels is valid. And more to the point, to the end user (i.e. the people reading this) it really doesn’t matter.

    • Jim R

      Meant to say “Microkernel based OSes are arguably …”.

    • deltatux

      Obviously you don’t know what you’re talking about since iOS is powered by a Microkernel. The XNU kernel in MacOS X and iOS is based on the Mach kernel which in itself was the pioneer in microkernels back in the day.

      As for monolithic vs. microkernel, it doesn’t really matter these days anymore since there are no pure monolithic kernels out there, Linux while is considered a monolithic kernel isn’t really one since it’s so modularized these days, you just load and unload kernel modules as you would with microkernels. Most if not all operating systems are some sort of hybrid between the two. Hell, I doubt the XNU kernel in MacOS X and iOS is really considered a pure microkernel either.

  • Treatz

    No, Sorry Lucky Goldstar and / or Google.
    just make more and stop apologizing

  • Duuuuude

    I think the reason Google hasn’t released sales numbers is because they are too embarrassed to admit how few phones they actually had on hand for sale.

  • Stanley Lu

    If it wasn’t for LG, it would have been even more popular.
    When I recommend to my friends, lots of them are not buying this phone just because it’s LG……..

    • LOL

      That’s definitely the truth right there! Had this phone been an HTC or Sony (not Samsung since they did last year’s) these would have been that much more popular

    • Clockwork

      If Sony made it, I would of passed on it. I take advantage of the Sony Device Loaner program for my QA dept, and The Xperia S is just garbage. Happy with my N4 so far.

  • arcsvibe

    The phone is priced right (this coming from an iPhone owner) Good job Google and LG!

  • ALopez

    Shut up. You don’t know anything about BB10.

    Just wait until BB10 is sold on Jan 30th. I know me and all my friends are buying one.

    • monsterduc1000

      @ALopez: So you and one other? =D

  • dandroid

    I lean heavily on LG saying they didn’t expect it, their handset sales are pretty bad and the only good phone to recently come out was the Optimus G and the N4…so of course they wouldn’t make too many, if it was an HTC or Samsung made set they’d have no problems.

  • Not Impressed

    It’s a epic fail. By the time they have made enough, Samsung Galaxy S4 will be out already. They will have all these cancelled orders at the Play Store.

    • Robato

      Galaxy will cost at least twice as much…

    • Robato

      And who knows, maybe by that time Nexus 4 will drop to about $200-$250, making the Galaxy cost 2.5-3 times as much…

  • Google

    Where did that figure of “hundreds of thousands” come from? Really, man? Come on… It’s not hard to see that there just weren’t very many phones to sell in the first place.

  • Brad F(anboy)

    If I had the money (and if they were in stock) I would purchase this phone.

    • Brad F

      I like your comments. I just can’t stand the comments from Brad F with the avatar.

  • google axe man

    You didn’t know? With the recent blunders of Apple, I’m actually shocked that a company poised to gain market dominance is so aloof to how many phones they would sell. You have a 359 dollar phone that has some impressive specs and you don’t think it will sell? Honestly, if that isn’t willful blindness or sheer stupidity, then I don’t know what is. Fire someone Google but do it after Christmas.

  • Cyrano

    i believe it’s more like this…
    –Google headquarters–
    A: this year we will ask LG…
    B: but no one will buy any LG product .
    A: right… ok, just order 100,000 units worldwide and start nexus 5 design
    B: ok, sir

  • pat2707k-r

    people are saying now that the phone’s demand is a no brainer, but I remember that when nexus 4 was announced everyone was like no sd card slot, non-removable battery,no LTE, glass back, made by LG, etc. Everyone was saying that it’s not worth upgrading galaxy nexus or S3 or note 2.

    • google axe man

      359 is 359 regardless of lte (considering people who don’t want to pay out their a$$ and can get coverage are heading to wind or mobilicity). Also what else can you get for 359 that is comparable so who cares about an SD slot. Google missed the boat.

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    Nexus 4 is a badly designed phone, and the i****s that buy it are too dumb to know it. that is the truth

  • Toto

    Facepalm at seeing ignorant fools still rushing to buy the iphone5

    • seroevo

      Right, because everyone has identical needs/wants to your own, and everyone is on such shitty plans or needs to upgrade their phone annually that they must buy all phones off contract.

      Ignorant fool is ignorant.

  • legend618

    i have asked but never got an educated answer. how long does it take to make a single phone? and how many can a company like LG make in a month?

    • andy c

      it’s not just a matter of making them. they are usually transported by ship across the pacific.

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    legend618, it is not in LG’s interest to make a lot of these badly designed Nexus 4 phones cause it will cut into it’s profit.

  • andy c

    there was never any indication the mainstream smartphone buyers would buy this device.

    zero advertising. one has to seek out info on the phone instead of advertising tossed at them

    only one place to purchase/ online purchase only.

    no chance to “play” with device before purchase.

    un-subsidised and not pushed by carriers.

    the last phone google tried this sales model with was the nexus one and google didn’t sell too many of those outside of developers/geeks

    • haxor99

      Very good points.

    • deltatux

      Here’s the thing, Google is trying to use word of mouth advertisement and at this price point, they only really needed the hype to get people excited over the device.

      Also, technically they do have ads, I’ve seen countless Nexus 4 ads all over the web. I’ve also seen their TV ads (less pervasive though), so the product isn’t totally unknown if you don’t surf the web.

      As for the Nexus One, there wasn’t anything spectacular back then and the price was equal to the price of an iPhone, there wasn’t much to differentiate it from the iPhone in the minds of the mainstream consumer, plus, personally, I find it ugly. Lastly, it was also Google’s first phone, there were no pre-existing anticipation for the device.

      The Nexus 4, however, is beautifully designed, is brilliantly priced, has amazing specs and there were already crowds of people anticipating the next Google device, that’s why it sold like bonkers.

  • screamer

    Most of the people have a case so nobody see the phone anyways. Screen looks good…

  • Kersat

    I like LG! I have the Optimus LTE P930. I think LG is on the rebound. They do need to work on the software releases/updates. I would take the Optimus G in a hartbeat, The N4 im not to sure. If LG keeps going the way they are, my next phone will be LG.

    • Brad F

      How can LG be on a rebound when they have never been on top?

  • abc123

    Thanks LG/Google.

    We already know how bad you f’ed up. It’s what you do afterwards that counts.

    As of this moment, you haven’t done squat.

  • alex

    The price point was the real killer for this phone.

    • Brad F

      You’re describing the iPhone5. This is the Nexus 4.

  • alex

    Having said that, I would not buy one and I am saving the buy an iphone 5 outright.

  • alex

    Oh, and one last thing, I may or may not be a Homersexual.

  • Chew

    I can totally see how LG & Google underestimated demand. When was the last time any number of internet nerds were excited about an LG product? The initial reaction was not too favourable from what I recall. The leaked pictures didn’t help either, it looked beyond lame design-wise based on that.

    But, people came around upon seeing the specs, final design (that pic used above makes the phone look awesome) and price. By that time, the initial sales forecast were already made…

    I can see the opposite eventually happening to Apple, people will one day stop believing the hype and Apple will have already produced some ridiculous number of iPhone 6S devices in anticipation of the blind following continuing indefinitely.

  • Osama

    i always laugh at people who think those of us who opt out for contracts are suckers, when they’re gonna pay the same rates as us for 3 years anyway, but had to pay $400 up front for no expandable memory and no LTE.

  • Carter Loose

    Well what did they expect! if you have a phone that good for that cheap with stock android you will do doubt have a hit

  • mggiphone

    LG also is on backoder. I have my OptimusG on order since Nov13 with no ETA yet.
    Either they are correcting stuff or did not plan the launch properly.

  • GlassBackBadIdea

    Osama, you are a genius. Those i****s that bought the Nexus 4 are too dumb to know it. you are wasing your time with these inbred imbassels