Nexus 4 Top Priority Is Improving Supply, Says Google's Larry Page

By Alexandra Burlacu email: a.burlacu@mobilenapps.com | Jan 27, 2013 10:13 AM EST

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Google's quarterly earnings conference call mainly addressed known matters, but Google CEO Larry Page took the time to talk about hardware and the Nexus 4.

Page reiterated what is already known about hardware supply levels in the Google Play store, and gave a hint regarding Motorola's contribution at Google in terms of hardware.

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"Clearly, there's work to be done managing our supply better, as well as building a great customer experience. And that is a priority for the teams," said the CEO during the earnings call.

Page's comment may not be very detailed, but at least it is a clear acknowledgement that Google is well-aware that the Nexus 4 supply issues need a fix, and fast. The Nexus 4 has sparked such a high demand that it is out of stock more than it is in stock. On the other hand, Page did not go as far as Cathy Robin, LG France's Communications Director, who last week promised better supply by February. The good news is that Google and LG are working together to address these supply issues.

Page also talked about what Motorola is doing in terms of innovating on the hardware front under Google's wing, but he only touched the subject briefly. The CEO also gave a few examples of other issues that need fixing. "Battery life is a huge issue," as is the handset's sturdiness, added Page. "When you drop your phone, it shouldn't go 'splat.'"

Most mobile devices face issues with durability and battery life, especially since today's common user is constantly connected to all sorts of services, social networks, apps, and such. Motorola may have a say in this, if its team focuses on making real improvements to address the weak points of a smartphone.

During the call, Google's Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Patrick Pichette also pointed out that the company is still working its way through Motorola's existing hardware pipeline. According to Pichette, Motorola had a 12 to 18 months product roadmap when Google made the acquisition, so the search giant had to go through with that. The Razr M is the last device conceived under former Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha, but it remains unclear at this point what Google plans to do with Motorola from now on.

Meanwhile, the Nexus 4 is still unavailable on Google Play, and the Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tend to be in and out of stock constantly.

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