27
Nov
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I understand that there have already been dozens of rants in regard to Google's "launch" (and yes, that requires ironic quotes) of the Nexus 4. And I understand that sitting here whining about it doesn't help anyone - so I'm going to avoid that. Really. I mean it. Mostly. But I am going to be critical.

From day one, the Nexus 4 has seemed - essentially - cursed. Victim to some dark techno-magic that has ensured nearly every step of the way that Google's flagship $300-350 phone would be delighting as few consumers as possible in the critical holiday sales season.

nextiltp

At this point, there is little doubt that Google has successfully started turning off would-be buyers. Whether it's because they need a phone now, not next month, or because they've slowly convinced themselves that the advantages of a Nexus phone simply aren't worth the alleged drawbacks of this new model.

I'm not just talking about the Play Store ordering fiasco, either. The Nexus 4 has experienced iPhone 4 antenna-gate levels of design criticism for its glass back. Its lack of LTE (sort of) has been lamented by many. And let's not forget that whole Sandy thing, which led to Google unceremoniously dumping an LG press release into everyone's inboxes with all the fanfare of a prepaid budget phone.

This product launch, for lack of a better word, has sucked. Badly.

nonexus4you

The Announcement: Hurricane-Forced

I don't fault Google for acts of mother nature. Cancelling the launch event had to be done. And not re-scheduling it somewhere immediately in the wake of the highly-destructive and tragic Hurricane Sandy disaster was in good taste. The eyes of the nation, even the tech nation, were obviously elsewhere during that week. So, they did it without an event.

LG sent out a press release along with a single photo (yes, just one) of absolutely abysmal quality. That was how the world learned of the Nexus 4 officially. Call me crazy, but I'm guessing it doesn't take an army of PR professionals to put together a stock imagery package and place it on Google's highly robust servers with a link in the press email. Oh, and here's that one image everyone got:

Nexus4_Range shot[20121030003943491]

Mmm, jaggies.

Official press images went up later in the day. None were of particularly outstanding quality.

In an attempt to shed some well-produced light on Android 4.2 and the new Nexus hardware, Google invited a crew from The Verge out to Mountain View for an exclusive first look. And hey, no hard feelings there - The Verge is a great publication, you won't get any arguments from us. The video they put together was top-notch. But is that how you launch a product, Google? Even one whose launch event was cancelled because of weather conditions? That seems a little... bush-league.

From that video, we were forced to start making inferences about some new features (like lockscreen widgets), and were treated to a view of an accessory whose availability, pricing, or frankly, existence in any practical sense of the word we still know almost nothing about: the Nexus 4 wireless charging station. An update would be nice.

The Review Hardware: Trapped And Incomplete

Google had obviously planned to launch the Nexus 4 in New York, and so, much of the Google PR team was already in the city when Sandy started roaring in. At such announcement events, it's not uncommon for a hardware vendor to provide review units to the press on the spot, so that they can start playing with the product immediately. In fact, it's very considerate, and I wish everyone did things this way.

Unfortunately, for those outlets not based in NYC, or that didn't have correspondents near the city, this caused major problems. The Nexus 4s were basically trapped in New York. If you're a major publication, that probably wasn't an issue, but if you're smaller (say, most Android blogs), and you couldn't get into the city, you were sort of out of luck.

This isn't Google's fault, by any means. I doubt they'd have been able to get the phones shipped to a safe location in time. We were lucky enough to have Ron, who was reviewing the phone anyway, drive into NYC once the roads opened back up to get his Nexus 4. Not everyone was so fortunate, though, and the highly staggered review publication dates are pretty good evidence of that.

When you finally did get your Nexus 4 review unit, it came with a serious "but": features are missing, the software isn't final, and we'll issue an update to the retail version of the OS a day before the phone goes on sale. Reviewers were forced to asterisk almost any negative conclusion they came to about the software with a "well, it could be fixed before release," or a "this might be a bug buyers won't see," and several instances of "feature X isn't on my device, so I can't tell you about it yet."

Here we are, a month later, and Android 4.2 in its release form is still riddled with some serious bugs.

The Phone: Shockingly Vulnerable To Old Critiques

The Nexus 4 has been widely regarded by critics as a pretty great smartphone. As the fastest Android phone on the market. As the one with the best user experience. The Android smartphone with the best design, the best looks, and the most promise in terms of support and new features down the road.

But it has been haunted by two of its makers' very deliberate design and engineering decisions: a glass backing, and a lack of LTE. That hasn't stopped people from buying it (at least not many), obviously, but they're critiques Apple faced for two years with the iPhone 4 and 4S, and that were finally rectified with the release of the iPhone 5.

Then, Google decided it was a good idea to make a phone with both of those characteristics. Characteristics that pretty much every tech critic on earth had decided were legitimate flaws in what were two of the most lauded smartphones on earth.

nexusae0_flush1

nexusae0_wm_2012-11-14-14.29.04

There have already been a number of reported instances of the glass back cracking rather easily on the Nexus 4. Most notably, it happened to The Verge's Joshua Topolsky. LTE, while you wouldn't be able to use it on the GSM-only Nexus 4 on Verizon or Sprint anyway, is still a notable missing feather in Google's cap. Especially when there are actually two radio chips inside the Nexus 4 that basically work with every cellular frequency on earth.

Whether or not you or I personally think these things are important isn't exactly relevant - the Nexus 4's public perception has been tarnished by them, and there's no going back from that. I listened to Android fans lambast the iPhone's glass backing and lack of LTE connecitivty for two years. I don't think the irony here is lost on even the most dedicated of fanboys. And good luck getting a bumper case.

The Launch: Like, A Bummer, Man

The ordering experience could have been worse. You could have been double-charged. Or charged and not given an order. The website could have given you some sort of obscure 19th century disease. Well, maybe not. The point is, though, Google basically screwed up here on a massive level. It was in stock. Then it wasn't. Then it was. Then it wasn't. Repeat ad nauseam. And then, it was gone. Both models, sold out.

Eventually, the non-stop F5'ing got to the point that Google started directing people to T-Mobile to buy a Nexus 4, at a price above what Google was charging (in essence, given the contractual strings attached). T-Mobile sold out within hours. People wanted it that badly.

Many of those who actually got an order in on launch day then started receiving emails: "Whoops, it might be three weeks before we actually get the phone to you. Our bad, we oversold just a little bit." Oversold? How do you oversell in the era of online retail? How do you not know what your inventory is? That to me remains an utterly absurd excuse.

Then, someone over at XDA started to shed a little light on the situation - a UPS employee allegedly working at a major processing facility in Louisville, Kentucky. According to him, that processing center received 17,000 Nexus 4s, 10,000 of which were of the 16GB variety. Just 17,000 units for a major smartphone launch. It's possible Google had units elsewhere for the US launch, but I wouldn't bet on it - stuff like this is typically handled from one location for the sake of cost and efficiency.  Edit: Probably not true after all.

Due to high demand, your order could not be processed. Please try again later.

The Play Store's Greatest Hits, 2012

As of today, the Nexus 4 is back in stock (sort of), but good luck getting an order in. Google claims they haven't sold out of devices yet, and that's believable: we've been trying since noon to buy some and haven't gotten to the checkout screen once. I don't consider it "fun" to keep hitting F5 on a page in the hopes of getting a company to take my money, personally.

Oh, and if you want an 8GB Nexus 4, good luck getting it before Christmas.

hahahahanonono

6-7 weeks. Yes, really.

The Result: Your Cart Is Empty

empty

Google, we all understand you're new to launching a smartphone that's actually going to be a little popular. But as one of the most robust web companies in the world, we do expect the experience of not being able to get one to at least be remotely definitive. I don't care if they sell out in five minutes - as long as they're actually sold out, and I can actually stop hammering your storefront with peace of mind that doing so any longer is actually crazy.

Chalk it up to unexpected demand, hurricanes, production bottlenecks, or a desire to do a true "multi-device" launch, the Nexus 4's debut has been a disaster. And even if Google isn't directly to blame, they still let it happen by releasing the Nexus 4 before the supply chain was ready, before the software was ready (arguably), and before even the store through which they are sold was ready. Google couldn't even be bothered to wait to do a proper announcement - even when doing so presented an absolutely golden opportunity to bide time and stock up on more units.

Hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but this goes well beyond an overlooked issue, or a single factor outside of anyone's control. This is a failure to launch on multiple levels.

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    /me kicks back and grabs some popcorn.

    • asd

      Consider fixing the typo in the image first.

      • Alex Luckett

        Canceled/cancelled can be spelt both ways. I'm guessing that's what you meant?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Nope.

        • Ryan Stuckmaier

          That wasn't the critque he had.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        Whoopsies.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Hey, I didn't write the post.

        But yeah, it's fixed, thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Shinakuma George Millhouse

        consider getting a life?

    • Meng Wu

      Please do a better job and be more professorial about what you guys post. Citing # of shipping units from an unreliable and unproven source is such a hack job. I would expect that from gossip columns, not you guys.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

        You must have missed the gossip column header, also known as "editorial." No one cited them as absolute fact, and your picking apart of such a small, asterisked, and relatively unimportant aspect of a larger piece isn't exactly constructive.

        EDIT: And now, someone has linked me to something that does show there's reason to doubt it, and the section has been struck out. Thanks for all that constructive criticism.

        • Meng Wu

          Thank you for making the correction.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Shinakuma George Millhouse

            thanks for being a complete prick

        • GrammarNazi
          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000209056572 Joris Griffioen

            "your picking apart isn't constructive" = correct. Learn a language before being a nazi about it please. I'm not even a native speaker.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            It shows, because my spelling is, in fact, correct.

          • GrammarNazi

            Hint: It was edited after the mistake was pointed out.

          • nhizzat

            Your is the correct usage. Nice try though.

          • GrammarNazi

            Hint: It was edited after the mistake was pointed out..

          • Dick

            It's you're. If "you're" trying to correct someone's grammar, do it right dumb ass.

        • lol no

          UM BUT I THOUGHT YOU GUYS WERE ROBOTS DO YOU KNOW THE STANDARD THAT I HOLD YOU PEOPLE TO? U BETTER NOT MAKE ME ANGRY OR I'LL POST ON REDDIT AND PEOPLE WILL UPBOAT MY KARMAS AND MAKE U FEEL BAD

  • Brandon

    The phone is still in stock as I speak...almost 4 hours after it's 12:00 release today

    • al

      if waiting anywhere between 2-8 weeks is in stock imagine if they didnt have

      • Wam31

        Well, it would be like living in Europe, where they still don't...
        Come on Google, shut up and take my money!
        I'm seriously considering buying it in the US and shipping it here...

    • Todd

      Yeah, shows as in stock, but you can you actually place an order?

    • Christopher Di Biase

      That's because those of us that want one can't actually place an order. :)

    • AndyH_STi

      'In Stock' maybe, but I've got one sitting my my cart that I can't purchase due to the dreaded "Due to high demand, your order could not be processed...". I've been trying off and on for the last couple of hours (as well as earlier today at 12:00 PM PST). Frustrating experience for sure.

      • AndyH_STi

        And after sitting there and pressing the 'Process' button probably close to 50 times one of the clicks finally made it through and I was able to complete my order for the 16GB version. :-)

  • Todd

    I really wish we could get some sort of sense on how many units they produced in the initial run. After the success of the Nexus 7, you'd think that anything less than 1million units wouldn't make sense. Also, distribution and production capabilities may not have been a part of the Nexus formula in the past, but maybe it should be now that there has been a cluster of a launch.

    • marcusmaximus04

      "After the success of the Nexus 7, you'd think that anything less than 1million units wouldn't make sense."

      The Nexus 7 sold 1/2 that amount in the first *month* and you're expecting them to have that many of this $350(sans contract, but how many americans buy phones off-contract?) phone for day 1?

      • http://profiles.google.com/tim.glaser Tim Glaser

        An initial production run needn't necessarily mean all 1M units done at once. The initial run could be an order for 1M to LG with deliveries of 100k in the first week, and then 100k every week after than for 9 more weeks. All could potentially be part of the initial run.

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

    But wouldn't it be considered successful from Google's point of view?

    I mean, they managed to release a phone lacking all of these very important things yet everyone in the world still wanted their phone. So much that Google -- who is basically the internet -- couldn't even anticipate the demand. Maybe, just maybe, every single man, woman, and child in the US was trying to get the phone at the exact same time. Successful launch! No?

    • http://twitter.com/Alankrut Alankrut Patel

      Chris there is no doubt this is a successful device, but just think, if all those issues mentioned in the article were addressed. How much better of a device would it be?

      Honestly, i dont really care, my is arriving tomm, can't wait man

      • Bob G

        But how much news would there be about this device, at all?

        My sister's friend's cousin's boyfriend's uncle's long lost brother's nephew's girlfriend's co-worker's friend now knows about the Nexus 4 selling out!

    • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

      I agree with your point, wholeheartedly and on some level for that reason Google must be pretty happy.

      However, from a PR standpoint it's pretty bad to piss off your most loyal customers that want nothing more than to send hundreds of dollars their way. It's even worse to piss off the casual customer who happened to want to buy one and now won't because of the frustrating experience.

    • PhineasJW

      This is a danger: that the kids at Google might misinterpret this cluster%#@ as a success.

      That's why these articles need to be written.

  • Thomas

    Oh so you care now? :)

  • Meng Wu

    I can't believe you actually cited an unreliable source on XDA, the alleged UPS guy never updated, never proved he was actually an UPS guy, for all we know, he was blowing smoke. I expected much better than this. If you are going to cite # of device shipped, it be from a concrete source.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I said according to him, and unless you have some piece of evidence to discredit the veracity of his pretty reasonable-sounding claims, I'm not really interested in debating their legitimacy.

      • Meng Wu

        You also stated unconditionally that he is an UPS employee. This has not been proven. If you are going to post what he said and stake your professional reputation behind it, you better have better prove than just "oh you can't prove him wrong so my source is okay".

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Fine, alleged UPS employee. I don't see how it has any bearing other than nitpicking - given the absurd shortage, his story seems very reasonable, and there's no reason not to include it as a possible explanation.

          • Meng Wu

            Just because his story seems very reasonable, it doesn't not mean that it's accurate or correct information. By reposting what he sad, you are essential putting your weight and AndroidPolice's weight behind his post. I am not sure why you want to do this other than make people outraged with unconfirmed information. You can easily stated in the paragraph "There is an absurd shortage with the initial launch, some speculate that there was only an initial stock of 17,000 units allocated for the U.S initial launch, although this is from an unconfirmed an unproven source posted in XDA forum, his number do seem reasonable." The point is, there is right way to post rumors and there is the wrong way to post rumors. Did you even try to contact the alleged UPS guy before you posted? What about reading the hundreds of follow up posts that questioned the UPS guy? Did you try to get official words from Google? Or did you simply wanted to post that because you knew it would get an reaction?

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

            I realize that questioning the journalistic credulity of Android blogs is the cool thing to do this week, but I struck out the section upon receiving evidence that this wasn't legit information, and that's that. I said it with the indication that it could be false - not that it was fact and that I simply accepted it, nor did I hinge some major point upon its truth. It was a small piece of ancillary evidence. You've made your point, and I'm done responding.

          • FrillArtist

            David Ruddock has a tendency to call things out before they are confirmed to be true or untrue. In fact, his observations in this article are the complete opposite of what he had pre-launch.

          • http://www.facebook.com/Shinakuma George Millhouse

            again...get a life

          • http://www.facebook.com/Shinakuma George Millhouse

            o and since you are picking on stupid things...You meant to type "would get A reaction"....not "an" which is used before a vowel

      • marcusmaximus04

        Burden of proof lies with the person making the affirmative argument...

      • Jdban

        It bugged me that he didn't mention the bumpers. No order combined with a bumper shipped before Friday 11/16. It seems like an issue that he also should have mentioned. IMO it doesn't discredit him, but it seems a bit weird that someone mentioning so much other stuff wouldn't mention that.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Those could be shipping from another location. I doubt they'd be bundled with the phone shipment - they'd be coming from different factories.

          • Jdban

            My bumper + N4 shipped from Louisville, Kentucky. It seems like something that an insider would have mentioned. "Oh, and not to mention that we didn't get the bumpers til Thursday night" or something like that

      • Ryan Stuckmaier

        How about his most recent forum post. http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=34724280&postcount=28255

        Quite literally: troll face.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

          Well, that's something I wasn't aware of. Edited to reflect this.

    • Shane Tuohy

      Came here to say this, no one really believed that guy.

    • Mustang5Oh

      I can't see that number being way off anyways proof or not. You really think Google had millions sold in 25 minutes? Not a chance! I guarantee they had a small stock and sold out quick which helps make it look better/more desirable. I call it pulling a Microsoft. 17,000 sounds about right IMO.

  • NickAVV

    I have my Nexus 4, I love my Nexus 4, it's easily the best Android-related purchase I've ever made. And yet I agree with everything written in this article

    • http://twitter.com/redbullcat Phil Oakley

      I think that's generally the reception of the majority. There are just the odd few that have issues: some are genuine issues (the glass cracking due to quick temperature temperature change), while others are issues that are user-inflicted ("I DROPPED MY PHONE FROM HEADHEIGHT AND THE GLASS SMASHED") (okay, maybe exaggerating a bit there but you get the point), and some issues are non-issues anyway.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/SuperElvisfreshlyATT Freshly_Snipes

        Definitely agree

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

          I love the insane price of it, even a 16GB iPod Touch (directly from Apple.com) is more expensive than this phone. It has extremely impressive hardware specs (barring the 16GB limit that sucks for rural people like me with a lot of stuff).

    • http://twitter.com/antonywu Antony Wu

      I still think that glass design is blown out of proportion. I am
      currently an iPhone 4 user, waiting for Nexus 4 16Gb. Granted I do have a
      casing for my iPhone, but I can count the number of times I dropped my
      phone in one hand, and yet, I haven't had a single crack on my phone.
      The iPhone 4 still looks in its pristine condition like the first day I
      got it.

      The iPhone 5, on the other hand, is a step back in terms
      of design (I am sure plenty will disagree, but that's my opinion). If
      you check out the demo devices at Apple store, you can see dings and
      visible scratches from daily abuse. In comparison, I never saw iPhone
      4(s) demo units had that much dents and scratches at Apple store.

      I
      have read news that you only have to place the phone on icy counter top
      to crack the glass. True. I would imagine that's possible, but that has
      never happened to me, so either I am just too lucky or I haven't met
      the right condition to crack the phone glass yet.

      To be honest, I am far more disappointed with missing LTE support.

  • Todd

    I'd love to see the initial production run numbers, I find it hard to believe that only 17K were produced.

    • Casen Brashear

      17k at that one shipping center... How many of those centers does UPS have in the US?

  • Crazydog

    The purchasing processes has gotten better since the big rush at noon. I was able to order my phone around 1pm PST, and everything seems to being more or less smoothly now.

    Could it have been better? Oh yeah. But at least it's working now.

  • jephri

    Pretty epic fail. Getting the phone through T-Mobile is starting to look like a more appealing alternative.

    • TK

      I almost did.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tim.glaser Tim Glaser

    I agree wholeheartedly. I have my Nexus 4. And although 4.2 isn't as good as it should be, I'm quite happy with the device overall.

    All your critiques though, ALL OF THEM are right on. And I really hope Google actually openly talks about how badly they've done this, and how hard they are going to work on fixing this type of thing for future products.

    This is just embarrassingly bad.

    The glass back concerns me, but I put my phone in a case no matter what, and compared to the 4/4s the Nexus 4 is easier to hold due to the rubberized texture around the sides. Lack of LTE is bad, but I do understand that Apple and Google aren't in the same position with the carriers. Apple can get their way due to the massive amount of iPhone's they've sold. Google can't with the minuscule amount of Nexus phones they've sold. Given the choice, I would rather the Nexus experience not be flawed by carrier crap, and forgo LTE.

    My hope would be that they sell enough of this device to people that next time around they get a better seat at the bargaining table.

    If the 17k total units for the launch is accurate, then I'm astounded. That is a HORRIFICALLY low number. I would be upset at hearing that only 100k units were in stock, but 17k is just a joke. If the reason is that LG couldn't manufacture more than that, then Google should have managed expectations better. If the reason is that Google wasn't aware of the amount of demand, then they should have put preorders up on the website and started to get an idea of how many people wanted the device.

    We need a huge mea culpa from the people managing this at Google. The whole thing is just an embarrassment Bad for Google, bad for Nexus, bad for Android. Makes the whole operation look not ready for primetime.

    • bnd123us

      " only 100k units were in stoc" - I guess that explains why they throttled number of order per second in early hours of booking. Later they open the floodgate though.

  • Jays2Kings

    It's a shame Google couldn't use its servers to make stock.

  • http://profiles.google.com/fortknox3 Terrance Knox

    Just ordered one. 6:30 pm EST. GOOGLE said, they are not out of stock. I just received my confirmation receipt.

  • al

    i wanted this phone bad but all the black magic surrounding the phone makes me wanna look elswhere

    • TK

      unless you really need a phone now, I would advise against that...

  • http://www.facebook.com/siddardhab Siddardha Bezawada

    For anyone trying to buy a nexus 4 ,just keep pressing the proceed button repeatedly even though it grays out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1044030140 Sean Liu

    I refreshed for 2 hours until I heard about the trick of tabbing over the proceed button and holding down enter. My order went through in seconds.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Same here.

    • http://twitter.com/ibrookshire Isaiah Brookshire

      Wow. Thanks for that. I can't believe I finally got one.

  • Xephik

    Maybe we'll get an answer from Google when they have to answer to shareholders at the end of the quarter.

    Also, shouldn't some blame be directed towards their choice to use LG? LG isn't a particularly prevalent Android manufacturer. I doubt they can come close to the volume of units Samsung/HTC/Motorola can pump out.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Maybe. Until Google fesses up, there's really no way to know.

  • Wayne Randall

    Great writing David. I laughed, I cried, I finally got my N7 order to complete.

  • Sam

    An LG rep told me the charging pod is due in January.

  • rjg

    Apparently, even your article is not immune to the Nexus 4 curse: your first graphic is missing the second "i" in "critques"

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      Thanks, fixed.

  • Irshad Chohan

    use firebug to edit html and add this script after adding item to your cart.

    setInterval(function() { console.log("where is my
    nexus 4?"); document.getElementById("checkout-button").click(); },
    1);

    I have ordered 2 Nexus :-)

    • http://www.facebook.com/elliottback Elliott C. Bäck

      yup. I rolled something like this myself to order a couple.

  • WySSOne

    All they had to do was allow preorders which would have resulted in no overloaded servers, no unexpected demand, no issues. Instead we got a "Notify Me" button that never sent a notification, a quoted launch time that was inaccurate, the phone selling out before the quoted launch time was even reached, a clearly overloaded webfarm that once finally gave you a buy now button dropped your phone out of the cart before you could even check out, an extremely disappointing "your phone will ship within 3 weeks" email followed up by a "your phone is shipping this week" with no clear shipping date or tracking info. The entire launch/ordering process is and continues to be a joke.

    • nhizzat

      They're not very good at pre-orders either. Remember how they handled the Nexus 7 launch?

  • http://twitter.com/samuel_hawes Sam Hawes

    Still waiting for it to be restocked here in the UK, I've sold old phones to pay for this so I have the money in hand, just let me order it already google!

  • grellanl

    All your points are completely spot on, and it was very frustrating to be eagerly waiting online when sales went "live" (HA!) which was at 08:12 here, and watch the website just absolutely melt down. Pages timed out or failed to load, stock showed as unknown, items added to the basket disappeared, checkout failed... as far as I could see, all stock was gone within six minutes. I didn't manage to get an order successfully completed in that time.

    How many devices did they order from LG? Perhaps a hundred thousand globally? Or are LG holding back manufacturing to promote their Optimus instead. Even the Nexus 7 launch wasn't as bad as this.

    I still *really* want the device, though. In fact, I finally gave in and ordered from a retailer (paying way over the odds), as I want to get it before Christmas.

  • PissOffGoogle

    Holly God after 4 hrs of clicking and 2 hrs ahead of time refreshing. Finally got 2 Nexus4 order in at ~7:00 pm. Definitely if you got it in your bag, just keep on hitting the process button until it goes through

  • VinMessina

    Google had its search bar up its you know for this one. I don't think this is acceptable for a company that has been in the game for 4 years now. And you know what... it's only going to get worse. Google has almost non-existent customer service, what do you think is going to happen when all that glass starts cracking? Yep, mobs of customers are going to be calling Google, looking for a replacement. Google does not have the customer service ability to handle a situation like that and it's going to end with a lot of pissed off customers.

    The good news: most anyone who actually purchased a Nexus 4 from the Play store is an Android devout and will most likely laugh it off anyways.

    As for this article: I completely agree. A disaster from the start and it's too bad. And like you said, if this were an iDevice, the Android community would be absolutely crucifying it and all the sheep who bought it.

    • okungnyo

      What a load of crock.

      Search for "nexus 7 screen lift" on XDA and everyone who had any problems with an N7 got a free replacement unit from Google. And search "nexus 4 customer service" and everyone who's called Google customer service says that they were very friendly and helpful. This "Google has no customer service" BS needs to stop.

      • VinMessina

        First of all, I said "almost non-existent" Key word "almost."

        And while the representatives may be friendly, they've been of little help to the majority of Nexus 4 customers. Here's just a small fraction of quotes (I could fill a whole website with them all).

        "The total lack of communication and disregard for honest, straightforward information regarding $300-400 orders is very disturbing. I'm also losing faith."

        "It's not the amount of time you might have to wait, it's simply NOT KNOWING at all how long you have to wait and getting completely conflicting information from Google's own employees about the status of your order. That's not okay. That's not just sh*tty customer service, that's a complete LACK of customer service and it's disturbing."

        "I don't understand the "its just a phone". Its not about the product or the value. Its the simple principle of Customer service. I will continue to use google products...just not this one."

        Secondly, I'm not aware of Google replacing anyone's Nexus 7. Perhaps ASUS did, but if Google did then that's news to me. The Nexus 4 will be the Nexus 7 x 100.

        "In my experience trying to get my Nexus 7 replaced for a clearly defective screen - it should've never made it into a box at the ASUS plant, so it's on them - I had to hold for over 45 minutes each time and when I was finally talking to someone, they were unfailingly polite, sympathetic, and completely useless at getting anything done."

        • http://www.facebook.com/gazw89 Gary Wilkinson

          When my N7 screen broke I called Google, got through straight away and then they sent me out a replacement device next day delivery and a free postage bag to send the defective one back when it arrived. That aspect of their customer service is great and should be commended. It's the other aspects of it that is lacking.

  • http://twitter.com/LiiIiikEaBau5 LiiIiikEaBau5

    Americans are lucky when it comes to Google related devices, but on the other hand europeans are more lucky when it comes to new Android devices. We get things faster that yours. Last year i got my Galaxy Nexus on 30.12.11 and this year i was supposed to get it on 28.11.12, but now i have checked the page i have pre-ordered. All i can see is the new release date :-( Can't wait to get my hand on this beautiful device!

    http://www.siba.no/product/11810521/lge-nexus-4-e-e960-svart?ref=section&sec=63457823966486

    Love GOOGLE/Android!
    By the way, i'm from Norway!

  • Fadi Alchoufete

    I would like to just give my two cents about this report. But first, I would like everyone to know that I do agree with many points, mostly regarding the launch. However, regarding the phone, I feel that it is a bit too early to judge this phone. For example, the criticism on the glass back. There is no official release on why the engineers decided to use it, but the first thing I thought of was the wireless charging. It would be rather difficult to use an induction coil on an aluminum back.

    Anyway, I think this is a great report that is very to-the-point. Keep up the great work!

    • Bob G

      Glass back was for show and nothing else. Look at the Lumia 920 and DROID DNA for their lack of a glass back WITH wireless charging.

      • New2Android

        Why did LG initially go with a Glass back? Assuming the design was what pushed Google to the glass back. However your just for "show" could be spot on, especially after watching whatever his Name is on the Verge with that "for show" shirt.
        I am still pissed even if I was able to get out of limbo status today.

    • TK

      I doubt the people who broke their glass back don't think it's too early to judge it. I can't imagine it's going to get any sexier as time goes on. I don't really care, but just sayin

      • nhizzat

        LG/Google didn't seem to learn from the issues users had/have with the glass- back iPhone 4/4S.

  • Justin Swanson

    Hmm, sounds like another Google Beta Experience. However, this is one Beta Experience that is not loved by their loyal customer base :(

  • Bleakvision

    You guys are complaining on a very high level. Try to get this phone in Sweden, Ireland, Russia, Mexico etc. ad nauseam.
    They need too make this an worldwide operation ASAP. Apple can do it. Why can nobody else?

    • ddpacino

      You just invalidated your entire argument by mentioning Apple...

  • nsnsmj

    I agree completely. It seems they learned nothing from the botched Nexus 7 launch, and to a lesser extent, the Galaxy Nexus launch.

    I just wish I could afford it for when things eventually get sorted out. I'm dead broke right now (and will still be for the foreseeable future), and stuck with a Nexus S that's showing its age (bless it's heart).

  • carlso

    aveable now just make to order know 8:00 pm

  • Thomas Wreh

    I started trying at 2:59:59 (Eastern) and after 5 hours of CONSTANT trying it finally went through!! While I'm relieved and as a MAJOR Google fanatic, I do feel like the jaded person described in the article.. I actually changed carriers for this phone (and to get future phones directly from Google) but they really need to do better than this fiasco. It's up to us to hold them accountable if we want a better experience because this is clearly an area Apple is by far ahead.

    We need to look beyond the launch of a single device but more at Google's overall approach to customer service.. Even if it's for devices (and services) that Google sells directly, they need to setup a first class infrastructure to service the 5-10% of customers that buy directly. I hope they do soon.

  • Bob Allen

    Well, glad I ordered the 16GB one - I only have 2-3 weeks they claim so lets see what happens. And I hope the N4 works better than the "curse" around it!

    Thanks for a nice summary of a big mess on Google's part David. We can love our android, but wonder "what the hell were they thinking?"

  • The Dude

    This is pretty typical of Google though. They aren't very professional when it comes to managing a product, as opposed to announcing new features on blogs. The whole thing is exactly what you would expect a bunch of geeks to do, be so excited in the Verge video, yet totally fail on execution.

    Android is cool, but Google has shown repeatedly they simply don't care about it as a product - they have no desire to ensure people get updates, their response to carriers messing with Android is simply to walk away and not even bother with LTE or Verizon. The one thing you expect from Google is to take care of their own baby, Nexus, which is pretty much the only supported Android phone, and they fail even at that.

    • http://twitter.com/xplodwild Guillaume

      You cannot blame Google for phones not getting updated. They provide access to sources soon enough - and CyanogenMod teams can update most devices, without source code, in a few days.
      If it takes months for Samsung to update their phones, it's because of TouchWiz, and it's not Google to blame for this one.

      They don't deal with LTE because this is not a phone for "public consumption". It's a phone for developer. It's a template. It's not meant to be used by everyone, this is not like Apple's iPhone. Totally different business model.

      Even if they failed on providing a proper ordering platform, you can't blame them for everything.

      • bordel

        yes, you can blame google.

        to me it looks like they dont care. no official statement on this relese mess. even "the fruit" company did better job handling their maps mess with management changes and applogies. also you see how they shorten their delivery of the fruit phone.

        look at google, you can order N4, but you wil get it in 6 weeks!? it is fuc.. christmas season!? dont they now, ppl want to spend money? why not pre-stock before relese? how was this relese prepared?

        also nexus 4 is for masses, why would they sell in globaly, if it would only be for developers? also it has LTE it is just turned off!?? WTF? why would you do that!?

        yes google and apple are different bus. model, so this is why N4 is so cheap, and fruit phone so pricy.

        on cariers and updates, they have 70% market share, why do they let carriers mess with their system?

        also it is so hard to tell manufactures like samsung/htc.. you support your phones for 2 years or go find another system?

        do they do that? no.. you get phones full of bloatware and other shit.

        to me they dont care, or dont care enough.

        • http://twitter.com/xplodwild Guillaume

          Are you dumb or what?

          Are they doing TV promotion for this phone? Do you hear "Special Nexus 4 offers" somewhere? Is it offered on every carrier around the world? For god sake, Nexus 4 is NOT comparable to an iPhone! It is NOT the same business model! It is NOT the same target!

          They're not selling it globally: there are many countries that cannot order it at all. Yet, making a template phone would be useless if only US could get it (or if you have to pay quite some hundreds of dollars to get it).

          Yes, it's cheap, because Google can rely on the Google Play Store to make benefits out of this phone. Now, since you're so mad, you might want to buy a fruit phone and get out of here, you'll make everyone happy.

          Once again, it's NOT Google's fault if OEMs takes ages to update their phones. Look at ZTE, they have no skin and already released a 4.2 OTA to their customers. It's not Google who is going to pay Samsung's or HTC's engineer to update phones that won't give them money anymore (or little compared to what launching a new smartphone would give them). And remember that 80% of those brands' customers don't care about system updates. Look at all these people happy with Gingerbread.

          Why OEMs chose Android is because of the openness of the system, it gives them commercial arguments to sell their phones. If every phone was the same, the market challenge would just collapse, and OEMs would loose interest in making Android phones as it's similar to every other OEM.

  • zebra

    It's all because mercury has been in retrograde

  • thepope

    I have a nexus 4 and it is easily the best phone I've ever had ( I switch phones every 2 months between platforms). For example I went from a gs3, iPhone 5, to n4. All of the complaints and reviews I read about the phone sound like little kids angry because they didn't get a tickle me Elmo for Xmas. I jumped through more hoops to get an iPhone 5 than I did a nexus. Early adopters have to be in the know and make sacrafices to get the latest and greatest hardware...iPhone 5 demand still is under supplied..i just sold one for above retail. The nexus brand is expanding and getting more attention, ie harder to get one. BTW they were available today for a bit. If you wanted one so bad you should have been ready. I had zero problem with Google play,and i had my phone 2 days after launch. Go get another phone...just know that it is inferior. As far as the glass phone...it feels awesome in your hand..get a case..amazon..2 day delivery...problem solved.

    • TK

      agreed. Launch day I got an error after checkout, never heard a thing from google until I opened up some mysterious box I didn't remember ever having ordered. Man, it felt like I was 5 years old and opening a christmas present. I haven't felt that way in ages.

  • Fellwalker

    Presumably US, as no indication of stock on the UK website.

  • FrillArtist

    So David Ruddock finally admit what I told him and he denied on launch day.

  • PhineasJW

    David, the article was spot on, even if a little more tepid than I would have written.

    I could run down a point-by-point list, which I've done before, but suffice it to say Google screwed up EVERY single aspect of this launch. EVERY SINGLE ONE, right down to the fact that they couldn't even manage to *email* the people who pre-signed up on their own webpage. (Actually I finally got the email yesterday! I mean, you're %$*(#)@ Google, how do you screw that up???)

    Their silence in the matter is probably the worst part.

    This is the first time I've ever seen the folks at Google for the 30-something Kids with PhDs that they really are -- complete with the subtext of arrogance in thinking they didn't need any special expertise at pulling off a webfront store.

    The fact that the Play store failed again today is a terrible indication of said arrogance or perhaps ignorance -- that they don't even know what they don't know.

    Larry Page should be ashamed. And, if he really cared about consumer experience, heads would be rolling. I'll tell you one thing, if this happened at Apple, Steve Jobs would have walked down the halls with a flamethower.

    And, I even typing this, Google is still my favorite company.

    And, my Nexus 4 shipped today.

    • nhizzat

      It appears Google didn't learn much of anything from their awful Nexus 7 launch.

  • mgamerz

    Has the internet learned nothing from the chromebook launch? You expected google to know how to launch a product!?

    • TK

      What the hell is a chromebook? lol.

  • Daniel

    I've got my Nexus 4 - Purchased it from O2-UK.

  • http://profiles.google.com/luisbarvalopez Luis Barvalopez

    i want it

    • http://twitter.com/MrYuzhai *Certified_geek™

      It's such an awesome phone.. hope you can get yours soon!

      • TK

        me 2! I'm glad there are others out there that are enjoying it! I've been wary of posting in these threads since everyone seems to be hating google.

        • http://twitter.com/MrYuzhai *Certified_geek™

          well this isn't the verge (which is full of android & nintendo hate). we have nice people here. nice people who are very much sane.

  • http://twitter.com/MrYuzhai *Certified_geek™

    I don't think the Nexus 4 launch has been a disaster at all for Google. In fact its great for carriers too as they'll be getting in on the action and pushing the platform as the device is obviously still sold out from the Play Store.

    I know more than a handful of people who were unable to purchase the phone sim-free from Google and opted to get it on contract instead.

    Majority of people who actually have the Nexus 4 are very happy with it.. I'm actually amazed at how hyped people were / are for this phone! If only Google can create a similar buzz for it's tablets.. perhaps next years Nexus 7?

    • nhizzat

      It's a disaster if you compare their last 2 launches to how Apple handles their device launches. Apple managed to launch 3 new devices worldwide without their website having issues, why can't Google?

  • Alm0s

    Don't care about the messed up launch, don't care about the lack of LTE. Not a fan of the glass back, but it's not a deal-breaker. Yet, I have no idea when and how I can buy one here, in Central Europe. I want to buy a new phone this December, but it seems that I simply can't get a Nexus 4.

    • TK

      Want or need a new phone this December? If it's in sight and you can wait I would advise you to wait...

      • Alm0s

        Want. My old I9000 isn't that horrible thanks to CyanogenMod. So I may take your advice...

  • http://twitter.com/Erroneus Erroneus

    Mine got pushed yesterday back to mid december. Oh the joy of being in a non-google play store country. Pay more, wait more.

  • DeadSOL

    Ouch! Great article but... ouch! :p

  • TK

    I don't wanna rag on AP because they are amazing and this article is spot on, but am I the only one who feels that this article is a bit bandwagon-y and creates some superficial inconsistency on AP?

    I understand that all these articles have been written by different people with different opinions, but the original reviewer was absolutely enamored with the awesome glass back until everyone across the internet hated it, and now it's listed as one of the epic fails of the N4. Then there was an article defending google and now comes one giving them hate. Again, I can appreciate the various views of individuals but a little more acknowledgement of them in all articles could be appreciated.

    I <3 you Android Police :-)

  • http://pctonic.net/ Ashutosh Mishra

    Google needs to learn some basic customer service lessons right away. There is absolutely NO reason for them to screw up on this scale, being the number one Internet company and everything.

  • karakuri

    What's truly baffling (and David mentioned it as well) is that this is Google we're talking about. Between their search engine, all their sites, products, etc, how many millions of requests hit their servers **per second**? How they couldn't properly handle the traffic for the launch is a mystery I hope somebody manages to solve before they try this again...

    Mine has shipped and should be arriving today (backordered from 2 weeks ago).

  • JAD88

    i managed to get a 16GB one, but another messed up thing they're doing is charging for two day shipping even though according to the site it will take 2-3 weeks to ship.

  • Reality Bites

    Sorry but this is just nothing but whining. The human race needs to learn a little patience. Do I have my Nexus 4? No! Am I whining about it? Nope, because I actually have a life outside of owning a mobile phone.

    Anybody who was waiting on the website, ready to buy and not expecting major chaos when the new stock went live needs to have word with themselves. The problem is not Google or LG or any other company, it is everyone wanting their chance to buy at the same time /Facepalm.

    Sorry if this offends anybody but I am sick and tired of whiners who think they're entitled to everything, immediately! Either wait patiently or do without, because crying about it isn't helping anybody.

    Finally if the glass back and lack of LTE is worth whining about ( again ) , just buy another phone with the N4's specs at the same price.....oh wait /Facepalm

    • nhizzat

      You sound exactly like an Apple apologist.

      Apple sells far more devices through their website and managed to launch 3 new devices recently without their website breaking down.

      It's our right as a customer to complain, otherwise we would be at the mercy of the businesses selling products. Without us, they don't succeed. They answer to us, we don't answer to them.

      I'm sick and tired of people giving Google a free pass that we wouldn't give to Apple.

  • 4beaches

    Can't you stop beating a dead horse... It did not go as planned, demand is huge, if you want LTE look elsewhere - this one does not have it (and it has been explained why). Ultimately, if you don't like what has happened or the lack of features, buy something else. The price is extrordinary for the phonef you are getting. I am willing to wait and I am sick of listening to the constant sniveling

    • nhizzat

      So we should just give Google a free pass? We sure as hell don't give Apple a free pass for anything.

      • 4beaches

        Because apple only has one phone and it is way more expensive than N4. Android has numerous options available... pick one that has what you want. What Google has designed was made for a specific reason and the demand for the phone shows people are more than OK with their decision.

        As for the sale of the device, it is obvious that it was not well executed and I doubt anyone would want it this way. This issue will not be fixed in the next couple of weeks. The unfortunate thing is that every time Google gets a shipment for sale, not everyone will get one. I suspect it will be like this for months. Lets just hope this situation never happens again and be thankful we can use our ability to choose what we want (whether it is a N4 or any other phone)

        • nhizzat

          Price obviously doesn't matter since iPhones sell by the millions, and Apple offers several different configurations just like Google does with the Nexus 4. Your argument that there are several Android devices available actually paints Google in a worse light because the Nexus phones have never sold like the iPhone.

          I don't care about the specs of the phone, the cause for concern is Google not not being able to handle the volume PFG traffic. The Nexus 7 has sold incredibly well but Google had shown that they didn't learn l much if anything at all from gore poorly they handled that launch.

          • 4beaches

            That is also the problem. There has not been the demand for a nexus device like this and I suspect they did not anticipate it. Apple is set up to handle their high volume of online products and they obviously stockpile a large number of their devices before they go on sale. They have handled the large demand in the past and continue to do so. Google, not so much... they obviously are not set up to handle the demand and it is their fault. If they have any intention of selling products in the future it needs to change

            I agree the specs are not the issue here but yet we keep hearing about the lack of LTE. It is in it, and yet it is disabled (for a reason). It is what it is.

  • QQ more

    ITT: butthurt

  • http://twitter.com/physicalist09 Physicalist

    Too many whiny posts here.

  • http://www.facebook.com/matty.b.miranda Matthew Miranda

    your all idiots. This size of demand was not expected. Your all noobs

  • http://twitter.com/C14KAA Chicka

    Yep, Google and launches do not go well together. Even Google music, an AMAZING service, but has anyone (apart from us geeks) even heard about it? Its not even in the google.co.uk menu options, you have to find it. LAMEOOGLE Look I loved flying British Airways, but after an experience of such bad service, I never book through them again, its more then just the product. Hello Apple

  • SippinWhisky

    Want another piece of disaster to add to Google's incompetence? We were told our credit cards would not be charged until the phone was shipped--which in my case is 8-9 weeks. However, when I attempted to use my card today I found out the cost of the phone has already been applied to my account, thus creating a last-minute bill pay situation which has now cost me another $50. Google wants to call it merely a "pre-authorization," but nothing was mentioned about that nor is such mentioned anywhere in the terms of sale. So where is the "do no evil" motto when a rose (i.e, charge to my card) is called a tulip (i.e., "merely" a pre-authorization) but still ends up being a rose (i.e. a charge to my card which prevents me from spending the money!)? Bottom line: Google now has my money after telling me not to worry about paying any for another two months!

  • Skeezmoe

    Thank you from Australia. I have been checking the site since launch several times a day everyday (don't use the N4 Notifier). I needed to vent all my frustration with Google and your article is spot on I just wished there were some swear words ;)