Yes, the Play Store has been plagued by issues. Not the least of which, if you don't live in the U.S. or Canada, you've probably had an even harder time than most getting your hands on Google's newest flagship phone. If you want to get in on the furiously refreshing action, and you happen to live in the UK or Germany, today is your lucky day! Starting at 5PM local time (GMT for UK, CET for Germany... so pretty soon), you can order the device directly from that search engine all your American friends keep saying has a horrible ordering system.
The Nexus 4 release has been a mess since the beginning. All across the globe, people tried to get their order in on launch day, and, well, they couldn't. Most who tried were left waiting until Google put them back on sale. That time has already come and gone for the U.S., where the second-coming of Google's newest flagship went about as smoothly as the first (read: not very). Even when sales first went live, the device had a "ships in 1-2 weeks" status, which got longer and longer as the day went on. Now the 8GB version is completely sold out, and the 16GB variant ships in 5-6 weeks.
In a sight all too familiar to would-be Nexus owners this morning, the Nexus 4 8GB model has once again been listed as "out of stock" on the Play Store. This comes after Google opened up a second round of Nexus sales, which were basically glorified pre-orders, particularly when it came to the 8GB model, which quickly hit a 5-6 week shipping estimate.
Earlier this week, that estimate stretched all the way to 9-10 weeks, and presumably anything past 10 was the tipping point. While it's unclear if Google's shipping estimate actually means buyers won't be getting there for phones for 2 months, or if it's a conservative "worst case scenario," apparently they've taken enough orders that any more would be too speculative (you also have a high risk of order cancellations on such a long wait).
If you head on over to Google's factory image site, you'll find brand-new images based on the incremental update to Android 4.2.1. The devices with factory images currently available include the Nexus 7, Nexus 7 3G, Galaxy Nexus (takju, yakju), and Nexus 4. The 4.2.1 image for the Nexus 10 has been delayed, according to JBQ, due to an issue with JOP40C not being flashable over older builds. This has since been fixed, and you can download the new 4.2 factory image for the Nexus 10, though it's still build JOP40C.
This comes shortly after the rollout of the minor 4.2.1 update to numerous devices (here's the changelog).
These guys work fast, don't they? After "noticing some demand" for third-party CM 10.1-based ROMs on the new Nexuses, the team decided to go ahead and start rolling out official nightly builds, beginning with the Nexus 4 (mako). This is the first official CM 10.1 build to be released thus far, and is currently based on 4.2, as 4.2.1 just hit yesterday.
The team noted on G+ that builds for the Nexus 10 (manta) should be the next on the list, and will roll out "as soon as it's ready." All other devices will continue to get CM 10 (Android 4.1) builds while they finishing merging the 4.2 code.
And the tip of the
day, month, year goes to... Syko Pompos! Here I was, sitting on the couch, trying to order the 16GB Nexus 4 for the last 4 hours. That's a lot of hours practically wasted. And I'm not even talking about the first batch which resulted in exactly the same failures and poor experience.
Turns out, there's a little trick you can use to defeat these errors and finally place your Nexus order. Sure, it'll arrive weeks or maybe even months later, but at least you'll reserve your place in line and stop ripping out hair from places where you might still need it.
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.
Update: Google says the Nexus 4 isn't sold out, but that the Play Store is just being inundated with demand. Here's what we're seeing on the Nexus 4 page right now:
Google Play is currently experiencing very high traffic. Nexus 4 is not sold out and will still be available for purchase. Please try again shortly. Thank you for your patience.
It's no secret that Google didn't handle the Nexus 4 launch as well as it should have. There was a problem with the system, orders got lost and/or cancelled, they sold out way too quickly - the whole thing was a complete mess.
If you're looking for the Android 4.2.1 update to the Nexus 4 that started rolling out this morning (it's a very minor patch, at only 1.1MB), you can find it, straight from Google's servers, at this link.
The update, JOP40D, so far has one known fix: the missing month of December in the People app (Contacts.apk). Presumably it fixes other things, too - Google probably wouldn't release a patch just for a single bug, but we haven't figured out what else this patch may address just yet. That said, there is no shortage of things it could (read: should) address.
The Nexus 4 has been in-and-out of stock like a California burger joint, but today it's back—as long as you don't mind getting it from T-Mobile. The subsidized hardware with a two-year contract is available again from everyone's fourth-favorite carrier. If you want one without a contract, though, that's still an option. It will just run you $500.
Of course, there's no knowing how long this will last. We'll update this post if the device well dries up, but if you really want one before the holidays, ordering sooner would be better than later. Get a move on.