Larry Page: Fixing Nexus supply woes is a priority

In today’s earnings call, Google’s head honcho Larry Page fielded questions from select investors and members of the press. Most of that mumbo jumbo is boring numbers drivel that we don’t have much care for, but Google’s CEO did find an opportunity to address the recent issues Google has had with providing optimal supply to meet overwhelming demand of the latest Nexus devices.

Page didn’t get into many specifics, but he told us that fixing the Nexus supply line — namely for the elusive Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 — was an absolute priority for the team responsible for Nexus devices. We’re not sure how much Google can do on its side to help Samsung and LG pump out enough devices at a rate rapid enough to meet with growing demand.

Google has already improved its customer service and communication throughout this ordeal. Shipping patterns, while still erratic, seem to be a lot more sensible and the rate at which paying customers are getting their devices seems to have stabilized. The only problem is getting enough supply to start taking new orders, a frustrating situation for those who wouldn’t mind having a beast of a device for just a few hundred dollars.

Such a scarcity typically doesn’t last much longer than a few months, but the truth of the matter is that Google doesn’t seem to be comfortable giving us a solid outlook on production estimates, and neither does any of its hardware partners. Most companies have no problem revealing  optimistic feelings about supply whenever things are looking up, so the fact that nothing optimistic or certain has come from any of these guys yet is a bit troubling.

The Nexus 10’s availability has been a lot less frustrating to deal with as it has seen both longer on-sale periods and shorter out-of-stock periods. The Nexus 4, on the other hand, spends weeks at a time on backordered and out-of-stock status, and any miraculous surge of supply lasts less than an hour.

Many are starting to lose interest as a number of folks right here on Phandroid and over at AndroidForums.com express their readiness to give up and look forward to new devices. Nothing beats a Nexus device for some people, but if you can’t get your hands on one then it becomes increasingly hard to stay excited about it.

With rumors of Motorola’s “X” Phone getting stronger and Google I/O quickly approaching we wouldn’t be surprised to see people hold out even after the supply chain has stabilized. We’re not saying that whatever is on the horizon is sure to be a lot better, but for some it’s worth waiting just to find out.

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  • Aslan Bollin

    So, which partner was/is truly worse for the Nexus Brand now?
    LG or Verizon? lol

    • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

      I still think its Verizon because people bought the phones expecting to get the latest updates only to be disappointed. At least we all know supply is low no shocker there.

      • camelsnot

        If supply is low then it’s not VZW’s fault. The latest updates to a Nexus phone happen automatically. Are you not even paying attention to life?

        • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

          Do you even know what you are talking about? Verizon’s Nexus phones have to get carrier approval before updates. That is why the Nexus 4 has no LTE so it would not need carrier approval before updating.

        • bmg314

          They don’t happen automatically when VZW is involved… The Galaxy Nexus fiasco proves that.

        • malcmilli

          they happen automatically on unlocked phones,not on CDMA phones. It took 3 months to get Jelly bean on the Verizon Galaxy Nexus… hence why they abandoned Verizon.

    • camelsnot

      that made absolutely no sense.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

        It would make more sense if you had a clue before making comments!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

    Here comes the stupid LG bashing despite the fact that Google admitted it inaccurately ordered the wrong amount because they calculated their order on previous sales history of Nexus phones.

    • camelsnot

      Here comes a pointless comment. Boom.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

        Your absolutely right! Boom.

    • Alm0s

      Google didn’t admit this, LG did.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

        I stand corrected

    • arj2442

      And what do you expect them to align their order with? Pick a volume out of thin air?

  • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

    Its a real easy problem to solve. Next launch make Larry wait online with the rest of us for a shot to grab the latest Nexus and when he comes up empty and frustrated, things will change in a matter of seconds.

    • camelsnot

      sounds pretty derpy. Why promote an idea you know won’t fly. that’s like telling congress not to get paid during the time they pretend to battle over the budget. Why even bring it up.

      • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

        Dude get a sense of humor. I bet you suck the life out of those close to you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

        It is not uncommon practice for CEOs to work as a regular employee or be a secret shopper to see what is really going behind the scenes. Why even make a comment if it sounds “pretty derpy”?

    • Sammie Bell

      YEP…MY SENTIMENTS EXACTLY!!!!

  • tomn1ce

    Maybe next time they will order enough devices from the OEM not to run out so quick…with all the info they have and they couldn’t figured that out….its a good thing I wasn’t waiting for that phone to launch otherwise I would really be pissed off if I still wouldn’t have the phone in my hands….

    • Unorthodox

      Good point! Google is the only company in the world that can’t seem to understand the demand for their products, and the worst in this situation is that they have all the freaking data in the world to do that precisely. They could have easily compared my searches and my emails, and whatever else they track on me, to see that I was looking to buy a N10, and was comparing it with other competing offers. 1d10ts. Just count how many F’ing times I googled: “Which retailer will be carrying Nexus 10″. I bet I wasn’t the only one.
      Things like “should I buy Nexus for present this holiday”, “where to buy Nexus 4″ should have been direct indicators of upcoming demand. 1d10ts.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

        I never thought of that! Plus, the store is a mess. You would think the search would be better, that they would anticipate what I want, its crazy to think other companies utilize lesser data better!

        • Unorthodox

          It’s just like in that little comic I saw either here or at XKCD about a year ago, where Google guys talk to each other and one says “Well, we’ve collected all the data on everyone, now what do we do with it?” Hell, even Chinese online stores, like Aliexpress use the browsing history and search tags better than Google do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=696761688 Justin Rebar

    I’m lucky I have one, but I feel for those who are still waiting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=655268800 Jeremy Elliott

    Bashing? There should be more then just bashing. People need to be fired over this. I know that you obviously have no idea how much somebody F’ed up so let me explain. People that are in charge of supply chain for a company like Google have 6 years of schooling several certificates and tons of project management experience. This is an inexcusable mistake in the profession of logistics and supply chain. Also for the people who did get an order in went through hell with the shipping and receiving their device. This has been no doubt the most embarrassing Android cellphone launch they have ever had. Tons of money has also been left on the table and like I said someone needs to be fired immediately.

    Another point id like to add is the lack of presence in Nexus accessories across the board. The Nexus 7 dock has yet to reach every consumer that wants one. Cases took forever to hit the shelves (play store). Same goes for the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 cases, the Nexus 4 bumper will take forever to restock and has not reach its loyal consumers either. The Nexus Que was a product available for like a week and then pulled? What kind of company that is trying to establish a retail presence does this? I can bet you anything when more Nexus 4 phones hit the shelves they will sell out and the bumpers wont be available till the summer. But G’s heart is in the right place there is no denying that. I just hope they learn their lesson from this enormous F up otherwise the Nexus line will never be taken seriously.

    • yippiedad

      Google, what these people are saying is that you should never try to sell phones this cheap again unless you can meet the demand of every single person that wants one. Obviously, people get pissed beyond belief when they can’t get what they want. So, according to these people, if you had launched the Nexus 4 starting at $599, fewer people would have ordered the phone and everyone would have been happy.

      I disagree…

      • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

        Hmmmm… supply and demand. I flunked economics but I see your point.

      • JRomeo

        No. The Last Nexus phone was sold for the same low price through the Google Play store. I purchased one and it was great. Then there was at least one whole entire week in the month of December where the Nexus 4 was available every single day that week for purchase. I purchased one during that week on December 7th, and it Arrived first business day of January 2013. Once supply stabilizes, it’ll continue to be sold for the same low price up until November 2013, at which point in time the new upcoming Nexus phone will come out, with another surge in demand since it will probably come out at the same low price as the previous 2 nexus phones. Nexus phones will be something that fans wait for every year, and the Play store will live and learn…. This is how Google learns…. Every year they get better, and now they’re learning they have to overestimate demand every year as demand is only going to get bigger from here on out as people start to notice that all other android phones are actually android-based phones, and the only pure android phones are Nexus brand.

    • http://www.newportessentials.com/ paco cornholio

      The more I think about this, the more it appears that friction between Google, LG and Samsung may be behind the shortages.

      Nexus 4 offers LG low margins, and it shares key components with the higher-margin Optimus G. Is Optimus G out of stock?

      The Samsung Chromebook offers low margins, and it uses the same processor used in the higher-margin Nexus 10, plus a bunch of other components for which there is probably little supply competition. Only the Chromebook has been unavailable for a couple of months. Nexus 10 is readily available.

      When it comes to peripherals the evidence is with your argument of incompetence. No flip cover or Pogo charger for Nexus 10. No bumper for Nexus 4. That looks like sheer buffoonery.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

        I love a good conspiracy, unfortunately Google didn’t order enough. End of conspiracy.

      • BLADESMAN1889

        The Optimus G of course is not out of stock – it costs $700 // £500 compared to $350 // £279

  • http://twitter.com/MannyRodrigez AlejRod

    I actually think that the lack of Nexus 4 from Google is blamed on other places that sells it like T-Mobile or other companies. They can’t compete with googles price. Think about it. If Google sells it for 350 and carries sells it for 500, were would you buy yours?

  • JaswinderSinghJammu

    Girlfriend’s mom got the Nexus 4 as gift and she picked up Straight Talk and it the speed sucks at her home address. I think the service was ATT.. My WIMAX blows her speed out of the water any day

    • yippiedad

      Same happened on my wife’s Nexus 4 on Straight Talk. I fixed it by clearing the proxy and port under the APN settings. Now it’s flying! You can search the XDA forums for more info. Good luck!

      • JaswinderSinghJammu

        Thanks, I will try to look it up and fix it for her.

  • Victor Ng

    Was waiting for this, but now i tink i will wait for Galaxy S4

  • RichardReich

    If the Motorola X isn’t a Nexus device, who cares?

  • scoter man1

    That should have been a priority in December.

  • NIGHTSCOUT

    Should have stayed with Samsung, who could have delivered the product. LG does not have the logistics that Samsung has at its disposal.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Dr.Mark.Lipschitz Mark Lipschitz

      I don’t understand? You have read the news right? Google based their order on the amount of Galaxy Nexus phones sold. How can any manufacturer afford to make more than what is ordered? Didn’t we have enough problems the last time Samsung made the Nexus?

      • BLADESMAN1889

        Not to mention the ”Out of Stock” Samsung made Nexus 10 – so by his theory maybe we should have Asus make all Nexus Tablets.

    • selonmoi

      Do you realize that LG has produced and sold more Nexus 4s since
      November than Samsung sold Galaxy Nexuses in the first six months of
      that phone’s life?

      Better phone, better sales, and no manufacturer interference to botch updates internationally. Those are the facts.

    • malcmilli

      Samsung should just make every nexus here on out?

      • NIGHTSCOUT

        They did a better job than LG…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gideon-Waxfarb/100002251671344 Gideon Waxfarb

    After they get the supply issue solved, then maybe they can work on getting some f**king accessories out :P

  • Unorthodox

    Is there still growing demand? I’m surprised to hear that, after they f0cked up the initial demand evaluation. Google surely didn’t get my $500 I was saving for a 10″ tablet, Sammy won that piece of revenue by only Google’s doing. Unless Google figures out better ways with retailers, the Nexus 7 will stay the only Nexus device in my household.

    • MK2

      You do understand that Sammy makes the N10, right?

      • Unorthodox

        You do understand that in Nexus project Google get their piece of pie, right?

  • Jayshmay

    I say give up on the Nexus 4, and just skip straight to the Nexus 5 with Key Lime Pie!!!

  • james ortiz

    I have waited over a month to be able to buy this bloody phone but now I don’t want it anymore thanks to googles poor supply vs demand issue

  • BLADESMAN1889

    Google UK has just shipped out a batch that has cleared the UK XDA thread of around 50/60 orders/customers. I think there are 2 people waiting. Of course this is only 1 site but it has been attracting lots of new members who have come across it via web articles. Another batch was cleared just after and before Xmas so I’m assuming that they have to now build up a decent amount of stock then reopen the Play Store again.

    Thats not to say that the recent order they got on the 17th Jan wasn’t enough to do so once all the back orders have been cleared. So its just a matter of 2/3 weeks now before they reopen for Play Store orders ? — thats just my guess :–]

  • irishrally

    Barring some unlikely bootlaoder issues, I’ll probably sell the N4 for the Xperia Z. Moto X is ages away.

  • PaulMonroeJr

    The problem is that carriers are selling that phone for $500 + while you could actually buy it from Google for $300. Couple this with the fact of this phone just having awesome specifications, and being vanilla android, that’s why they can’t make them fast enough. If I wasn’t on a cdma carrier (Sprint) I would have got one. I do love my Note 2 tho.

  • spicymeatball

    I don’t see a solution in this whole matter unless Google starts using Motorola to build their nexus line. Samsung and LG don’t have a motive to make these devices unless they are making the same profit as they are on all their other devices. Follow the money.

    • selonmoi

      Ha. When was the last time Motorola had a popular phone? How do we know they would have the manufacturing capacity to keep up?

      • spicymeatball

        If they went with Motorola and they can’t keep up there is really only one company to point the finger at, Google. It’s moot point really. The Nexus line are Google products and the buck should stop with them. I assume that if Google controlled the manufacturing then they could set priorities.

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