Nexus 4 Shortage: Why The LG Phone Is In Such High Demand?

By Khurram Aziz | Dec 11, 2012 09:42 AM EST

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In what is becoming a familiar story for every new mobile phone or tablet device hitting the market these days, LG, the company behind Google's new Nexus 4 smartphone, says high demand is the reason behind the limited supplies.

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Google launched the Nexus 4 in November, but the device has repeatedly sold out on Google Play. Even now, with Christmas just round the corner, the Web site is reporting that both the 8GB and 16GB handsets are currently unavailable.

Andy Coughlin, head of mobile at LG UK, spoke to CNET and explained that the device "had proven extremely popular, and as such retailers have been met with huge demand."

"We are working closely with Google to ensure that those who wish to purchase a handset are able to do so," he added. "As with any sales process, LG supplies product quantities against partners'/customers' (ie retailers, operators etc) forecasts."

Specifically Coughlin said that the demand has been particularly high on Google Play.

The Nexus family is one made by Google as a showcase for the latest version of its Android operating system. The devices have never been massive sellers for the company but have instead been aimed at developers producing apps and other add-ons for the full range of Android devices.

Google usually partners with experienced smartphone and tablet manufacturers to produce the devices. For example, Samsung produces the Nexus 10 tablet, which was also released in November, and Asus makes the Nexus 7 7-inch tablet.

Both these devices have also faced shortages in November, and the Nexus 10, like the Nexus 4, is currently listed as sold out on Google Play in both the 16GB version and the 32GB version.

One of the reasons for the high demand is the low price point. The 8GB Nexus 4 costs only $299 without a contract or $349 for the 16GB device. Compare that to the cheapest iPhone 5, with 16GB storage, priced at $699 without a contract, or the cheapest Samsung Galaxy S3, with 16GB storage, available on Amazon $579.99. 

What's more, the Nexus 4 stacks up well against both Samsung's and Apple's flagship smartphones. With a 4.7-inch 1280×768 pixel display at 320ppi, 1.5GHZ quad-core processor and 2GB RAM, it's one of the best phones on the market and at a price few manufacturers can match.

Coughlin told CNET the company was working with Google to make sure anyone who wants a Nexus 4 will be able to get one, but it's unlikely at this point that any more will be available in time for Christmas.

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