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Nexus 4 production ramping up over the next month; Optimus G to hit Europe in March

There's been a lot of back-and-forth over the past couple of months about exactly what's been behind the delays in getting the Nexus 4 back in stock on the Google Play Store. Before the holidays Google UK's managing director blamed "scarce and erratic" supplies for some of the issues experienced by Play Store customers. But in recent days LG has told the Korean press that they've had no issues with supplies at their end.

Today, an interview with LG Mobile France director Cathy Robin could give us our clearest indication of what's actually going on behind the scenes with supplies of the LG-made Nexus phone. Speaking with French outlet, Robin says "the supply problems are not solely related to LG." Apparently Google presented LG with Play Store sales forecasts based on the performance of previous Nexus phones, but these turned out to be far exceeded by actual demand for the device. Despite these issues, she insists things are going "very well" between LG and Google.

The LG director also took the opportunity to dismiss rumors that Nexus 4 production was slowing down or halting entirely. On the contrary, Robin claims that LG is ramping up production, and that by mid-February there should be "no more pressure" on the market.

Additionally, Robin slips in the news that the Optimus G will launch in French stores in March, the clearest timeframe we've seen so far for a European launch of LG's leading high-end smartphone. With that launch window in mind, it's likely we'll get our first look at the European version at Mobile World Congress in late February.

Some other interesting morsels --

  • Robin denies LG is selling the Nexus 4 at a loss, but says there's an agreement in place with Google to sell it at a "very attractive price."
  • On larger form factor phones like the Optimus Vu, Robin says that the Vu and Vu 2 have been met with success in Asia, but that it's a niche market, and LG doesn't plan to "persist with this format here in Europe."
  • LG's attitude to Windows Phone 8 is "pragmatic," but Microsoft's OS "clearly isn't a priority" for the manufacturer.
  • On reports that only 375,000 or so Nexus 4s had been sold (based on analysis of serial numbers on Internet forums), Robin describes this number as "much lower" than the actual sales figures.

Source:; human-translated version here, via: Reddit


Reader comments

LG Mobile France director talks Nexus 4 supplies, Optimus G Euro launch


To me that seems believable...before the phone was released everyone was complaining about how LG was going to screw up the up phone. Then despite the GNEX being a great phone it did not put up crazy numbers. Now that everyone all of a sudden wants this phone I can understand if the they were blindsided with more demand than expected. I do feel that they should ramp up the pace of putting this phone back on the play store 1st and foremost...

I know it's easy to have perfect hindsight, but the minute Google decided to sell the Nexus 4 at not much more than half the price people expected to pay, they should have reworked their sales forecasts. It seems they didn't...

Google is kind of an idiot to base demand off the previous versions but then sell the 4 at a used phone price basically. But you know how it is. Google can do no wrong and everything gets blamed on LG.

The WORST NEXUS EVER was that JUNK that resides on Verizon what a farce that was. The Lg Nexus 4 is so much better and extremely smooth as i sit here playing with one in my nearest tmobile store in Manhattan New York. Just too boring in my book and a weak speaker it can't hold a candle to my Galaxy Note 2 or the Galaxy S3 either. For some reason NEXUS DEVICES always have POOR BATTERY LIFE. This one on Tmobile is better than that crap on Verizon no question but it still should be better.

You know so much about the N4 from playing with it at a Tmobile store? Right. Did you own a Gnex? I STILL...over year my LTE Gnex. Far fom "the worst Nexus ever" lol. Well, IF you received a proper one. Plenty share my opinion it's still the best phone on Verizon...certainly for crackflashers. I have a GS3 too, btw, and I gave it to my lady. She loves it. I found it boring and Touch Wiz extremely tacky, slow, and overbearing. Certainly a nice phone, just not for me.

I agree. I still have a VZ GNex Toro and when my wife's contract came up this fall, we had a choice between the S3, GNex, Note 2 or DNA. For reasons detailed in other posts, etc. I got her a GNex also, because of the update life-cycle and because of the major drawbacks the other phones possess.

After 13 months, in my opinion the GNex on Verizon is equal to the Note 2, and superior to the S3 and DNA, but this is mainly because no matter what device I have, I'm going to root it and get to stock. The Note 2 and S3 both lose a ton of functionality if you take out Samsung's software (especially true for the Note 2), although from a hardware standpoint, I would agree that other than the presence of physical buttons, they are superior to the GNex Toro. The DNA has a great screen, great battery life and looks awesome, but again HTC missed with physical buttons and the low storage option, non-removable battery, etc. Remember the Verizon GNex is 32GB, on par with the S3 and value Note 2, vastly superior to the DNA in that regard.

I know many disagree because the GNex was mishandled greatly by Verizon, but if you take VERIZON out of the picture by rooting and flashing custom ROMs, you still get Verizon's amazing network and a great phone, that in my opinion matches the best Verizon offered this year. Verizon's choices this year were abysmal, so this became especially true when you considered the value vs. price in that my wife's GNex was free at Target, didn't interrupt my unlimited Data and was competing against other phones that, even though of equal or lesser value to me, the rooter, were between $199 and $299 more expensive.

"as i sit here playing with one in my nearest tmobile store in Manhattan New York" Soooo... you've got nothing better to do with your life than sit around in a T-Mobile store playing with the phones? And you told ME I didn't have a life. What a hilarious joke!

"For some reason NEXUS DEVICES always have POOR BATTERY LIFE." And you know this from playing with it at the store, where it more than likely is always plugged into a wall outlet? How intelligent you are.

He was banned from Phandroid 4 times for the same thing, and is already banned from the AC forums as of about 9 weeks ago. Only a matter of time before he's banned here too.

February huh? Meh. After seeing Tegra 4 and Sammys new chip, Im going to hold out and see what HTC and Sammy come out with next month.

I really wanted one, and still do, and even considered dropping Verizon and moving to either T-mobile or ATT. But after seeing the gagglefuck that has been the Nexus 4 launch, on both the Play Store and T-Mobile, I'll just stay with big red and hold my upgrade for the next big thing later this year.

So basically they way things are is the way Google wanted it. They are happy to have them in great demand but they never planned for them to sell in great or large numbers.

I thought this was the case as the Nexus 10 is also hard to get hold of but Samsung isn't known for not delivering ordered stock... Apple is never waiting for any of the components Samsung makes for them so why all of a sudden should they find it hard to supply Google with what it needs?

The Google Nexus devices aren't meant to be high volume sellers and this only adds to that notion. The Nexus line and Stock/Vanilla Android are meant as a GUIDE for their partners and their partners are meant to sell large volumes of phones which is exactly what is happening. If this was any different then Google would be the competition with an unfair advantage. Remember when Google bought Motorola and everyone started to whine like Christmas was cancelled until Google said they would NOT be competition and they would NOT give any preference to Motorola...

Think about it! Google doesn't need to sell devices and that's not what they do.

If this was true, Google could've simply kept the price high. The fact that they promised low prices showed that they wanted to capture market share and sell lots of these phones. A simple mis-calculation on their part on the # of orders to give to LG.

Or maybe it is a developer and enthusiast phone and they just underestimated how many Nexus enthusists there are.

The Nexus phones, although great, have always been behind the curve when it comes to hardware. Phones released at the beginning of the year always have the latest and greatest specs. Then when Google releases a Nexus in November, it always has the specs of that year while more powerful phones are only a month or two away. Yes phones by HTC and Samsung are going to be more powerful in a few months from now but i guess if you want the latest android, then its a compromise i guess.

Arguably the only chip faster (in November when the Nexus 4 was released) than the Qualcomm S4 Pro used in the Nexus 4 was the A15-based Samsung Exynos 5, which they used in the Nexus 10. The N4 also includes 2 GB of RAM and one of the best displays on the market. Just about the only sub-par hardware in the N4 is the lack of legal, multi-band LTE, the camera, and the amount of storage.

Admittedly, the same can't be said for some earlier Nexus devices like the Galaxy Nexus.

So if LG's confidence is to be believed, we'll soon see Nexus 4 back in stock, and in steady supply for a long time to come. Maybe Google was like "okay we're going to whip up some huge warehouses for our devices, so ship a ton of them there and we'll work on integrating all that into our ordering system."

If this is true then Google really are to blame. The phone was priced a lot cheaper than the Galaxy Nexus, and unlike it is top spec - what would make them think demand would be the same… especially in Europe where sim free phones are more common than the US.

They actually dropped the Galaxy Nexus price to $350 a while before the Nexus 4 was announced/launched. Right? Unless you just meant the launch price of the GN was a lot higher than the N4, in which case that is correct.

But yeah, Google obviously didn't think it was going to sell gangbusters so they didn't order very much initially.

"Robin claims that LG is ramping up production, and that by mid-February there should be "no more pressure" on the market."

what does that mean? does that mean by mid february google will have enough to adequately handle the orders? seems kind of vague

This sounds pretty much what I would have assumed was the issue. It just makes no sense the forecasts wouldn't have at least been doubled when they announced price. You just can't get any other phone close to the Nexus 4 specs near that price. Galaxy S2s are selling for the price of the N4 new.

Just proves that Google doesn't respect its customers, just sees us as sheep to drive their search revenue.

Lets look at some of the facts. It took them years to offer a smooth version of Android, when it did occur the changes required were not massive, are you telling me that all the ivy league / oxbridge graduates that Google hires could not have achieved it earlier, if end-user experience was a key business objective of Google's senior management.

Chrome for Android is still a mess, although they are promising big updates, but again if they really cared about UX, why launch a product that had so many performance flaws, to the detriment of the Nexus brand in reviews and us users, who Google treats as beta testers not valued customers.

And now we have them teasing us with super-products that you can't even pre-order, let alone buy. As much as it pains me to say it, Google has a lot to learn about overall customer satisfaction from Apple.

I'm surprised by the number of posters in this thread who bought LG's story, even though it makes no sense.
The N4 went on sale on November 13th. Even if Google underestimated demand as they claim, two months is more than enough to ramp up production so that by today the N4 would be back on sale on the Play store, shipping immediately. This clearly is not the case.
The truth is that LG has used any trick in the book to avoid selling the N4 at the price point Google wanted. The N4 will continue to be in short supply, and unavailable on the Play Store at least until March, when the HTC M7 and the Xperia Z (and possibly a similarly spec'ed Optimus G2) will enter the market, making it look like just another fair-priced midrange phone, and not the game-changer Google wanted it to be.
I take solace on the fact that the next Nexus phone will be made by Motorola, exactly like Google wants it, and sold exactly at the price Google wants. And probably available as soon as May for Google I/O, as I don't see Google sticking with the N4 as their only Nexus phone until next November.

I feel sorry for those who couldnt get the Nexus4 because it is a great phone. You literally cant even tell its a LG phone... And that's a great thing. I'd be curious to see what Motorola could do with the nexus line but their devices have really struggled lately. Other than having a big battery there's nothing really special about a moto phone.

I feel sorry for those who couldnt get the Nexus4 because it is a great phone. You literally cant even tell its a LG phone... And that's a great thing. I'd be curious to see what Motorola could do with the nexus line but their devices have really struggled lately. Other than having a big battery there's nothing really special about a moto phone.