LG Chief Blames Google For Nexus 4 Shortage
South Korean smartphone maker LG has publicly rebuked Google for underestimating sales of its Nexus 4 handset, saying that a lack of availability had served to frustrate buyers.
The company's director of mobile in France, Cathy Robin, told a local newspaper that Google's estimates of 400,000 sales for the device were "much lower than reality", and that priority given to the UK and German markets had led to shortages in France.
The Nexus 4 has been listed as "sold out" online almost constantly since it was released in November last year with the companies struggling to meet demand.
Its high-spec, low price-point has made it an unexpectedly popular device. At just $299 for a base model, it's almost $400 cheaper than the basic iPhone 5 - although the latter gives twice as much storage.
However, in almost every other respect, the Nexus 4 has the Apple product beat.
With a 4.7-inch screen boasting a 1280x768 pixels resolution, 1.5GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, 8-megapixel camera and 2100 mAh battery, the Nexus 4 is one of the most impressive smartphones in the market. It also runs the new Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box, which equips the device with new feature upgrades such as better camera options and controls.
When asked about the reason for the stock problems, Robin blamed Google's poor estimates which were based on sales of its less popular predecessor, the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus. Those estimates resulted in too few handsets available and too many shipped to the wrong regions.
"For example, the initial forecasts of Google were 10 times higher for United Kingdom and Germany," she told Challenges Web site (translated). "We deliver so much more in these countries than France. There was a balance that has been poorly anticipated."
The Nexus 4 isn't the only device giving Google problems. Its Asus-made 7-inch tablet, Nexus 7, is also sold out in its 16GB version, as is the Samsung-made 10-inch Nexus 10 tablet, which is unavailable in both the 16GB and 32GB versions.
In the past, Google has blamed its manufacturing partners for the lack of availaibility of its devices.
Dan Cobley, Google's Ireland MD, said in December that it was "erratic" supplies from LG that were to blame for shortages of the Nexus 4, as well as a flaw in communication between the two companies.
However, this does not necessarily mean that Google and LG are going to sever their partnership. The Telegraphs suggests that the South Korean company is already working on the next generation Nexus 5.
"Through our collaboration with Google, we launched the LG Nexus 4 smartphone." said James Fisher, LG's Senior Vice President. "This is the first of many devices to come from our growing partnership with this very selective company."
Robin said that LG will continue to ramp up production of the Nexus 4 and that by February "there will no longer be any tension [between demand and supply] in the market."