As some who successfully purchased the Nexus 4 before it almost instantly sold out earlier this week receive notice that their shiny new Jelly Bean handset is shipping, others have been greeted with some not so good news. Apparently Google oversold their stock and is notifying some customers that the phone is now on backorder. While many will still receive the phone over the coming days, others will have to wait three weeks for the next available shipments.
As much as missing the opportunity to even purchase a Nexus 4 must have frustrated potential buyers, learning that the phone you just dropped a good chunk of change on won’t be arriving as expected is equally as cruel. It all stands to magnify Google’s poor handling of the Nexus 4 launch.
Google’s decision not to offer a pre-order for the new phone is perplexing, and their inability to build up a proper stock of handsets prior to launch leaves us scratching our heads. Yes, we can cut them some slack. The company has only launched a handful of physical products, but after the success of the Nexus 7 you would think that the folks running the Google Play Store would have had a better plan. When the Nexus 7 sold out (quickly, but not at the same rate as the Nexus 4), we were asking a similar question.
Did Google not anticipate the popularity of their own products? Is it more a supply chain issue that falls on the shoulder of LG (and ASUS, in the case of the Nexus 7)? Given Google’s reluctance to release sales figures, the conspiracy theorist in us even wonders if the company intentionally lowballed their stock to create a perceived high demand for their mobile devices. Get out the tinfoil hats.
Whatever the case may be, there are many Nexus 4 buyers feeling quite disappointed today. Add those to the rest who didn’t even have a chance to purchase the phone on launch day.