Nexus 4 backorder e-mails go out en masse

Several users in our forums are reporting receiving emails that are making their hearts sink. Customers in both the U.S. and U.K. that were lucky enough to grab a Nexus 4 order before they sold out -- in less than 30 minutes -- in the Play Store are getting an email indicating that their devices are now "on backorder". The email explains that the customer should expect their device to be delivered within 3 weeks.

This isn't good, folks. We don't know what this means for the eventual availability of a second run of Nexus 4's in the Play Store, but we think everyone's expectations just got pushed back a bit. Take a look at the email after the break.

Source: Google Nexus 4 Forums

Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.

174 Comments
  • At $299.00, unlocked, it is no wonder they sold out this quickly.
  • atleast people get back their shipping cost. that's a bonus. people complained about not having a backorder. now when they get it they complain again.
  • Yeah but how many were available?? I'm tired of this out of stock crap every time a new phone is released. Poor planning on googles part.
  • Supply and Demand 101!!! Make them want you, make a limited supply, make Apple lose "Holiday Purchases". My Google Gods are wonderful!
  • Yea, but totally f-ed up on this whole process. Bad Google, very very bad :( What's the point of ordering on the 1st day if your just going to get backordered? Meant nothing then... really ridiculous
  • ^Said no Apple user ever! ;) Haha, I am glad more people are using Android!
  • Nickacs, you think Google's the only one that has had to deal with this? This happens all the time when an insanely popular/anticipated product is released. It happens to everyone.
  • Issue is that lots of people who ordered AFTER already got their phones or confirmation that they have shipped. A friend of mine in germany was literally F5 bombing the page and ordered from it when it came up around 9:10, yet people who ordered it long after (even from those couple of units that trickled down later that day) already got it. https://plus.google.com/103645468886267896368/posts/ARxEyTDViE3 While he ordered in the "first couple of seconds" admittedly the process did take like 5-10 minutes, not to mention the extra half an hour to actually get the order to show up anywhere. Apparently Google mistook FIFO for LIFO.
  • WAAAAAAHHHHH. Generation of instant gratification...
  • Grow up.
  • No, of course not. But how everything has been handled poorly. How can you call the Google CS yesterday AND this morning, saying "Your order is fine, it will go out sometime on the 15th" and then NOW THIS? C'mon, get real buddy. Your saying all of this should just be ignored and think, ah, this happens all the time. Sorry pal, no way.
  • Ya thats exactly what happened to me. I was trying since 11:50am on 11/13 spamming my order trying to get through all the lag and freakin bugginess of their crappy site. Then I finally hit buy and instead of an error it just keeps trying to transmit my payment data. The actual order never finished in the browser but was still charged to my credit card. I got a confirmation email later in the day. Called customer service and they said everything fine you should get tracking info on Thursday then instead of a tracking info email I get a goddamn email saying my order is backordered now are you freakin kidding me?!?! This wouldn't have pissed me off so much if google wasn't a freakin tech and internet based company. Holy hell if I worked there and this happened again after the nexus 7 debacle I would be so freakin embarrassed.
  • Google really needs to work with some companies that are well versed in doing pre-orders (look at the release of any game in the last 5 years, they don't have problems). I get that more might be ordered than are in stock, but there's lots they can learn from having a robust pre-ordering ability. get away from the 'order day of' stuff, let people pre-order online, in stores, anywhere, distribute the system and allocate units as best you can, fulfill orders at release. supply issues with components &c create a lot of issue, demand over manufacturing capabilities. it's a huge ramp up process, and I really doubt LG was prepared to produce in the volumes they will need to in order to ever have any meaningful number of devices available.
  • Ugh, this is terrible service from Google. I'm really disappointed at how they're handling this. I almost want to cancel my order but I have a screen protector and case already on the way. Bah, I almost wanna wait for that HTC Deluxe now.
  • How many did they sell? Surely it couldn't have been millions?
  • All of them.
  • HAHA
  • LMAO!! I think I just hurt myself laughing. I suppose it's easy for me to laugh because I'm not bothering with this Nexus, but I do feel for those that are waiting to receive theirs.
  • Plus a few extra for good measure!
  • I had my order in at 10:36am CT on the 13th, and still no email saying shipped or backordered.
  • Same here. 10:51am CT and no email for either. I expect to be seeing the backordered email any minute thought :-(
  • I got the dreaded email. kinda sad but oh well
  • Just emailed google and got a response saying to expect it to ship the EVENING of the 15th so I'm hopeful that I'm not one of the backordered.
  • Though making good products, i must say google is really bad at customer services,based on my previous purchase experience of 8 gb nexus 7 on google play store. They didnt ship my device or give me any explanation, and they refused to cancel my order until i called them the the third time 3 weeks after my purchase and convinced them i would buy a 16gb one if they could cancel the current order. i ended up buying one at a local gamestop store.
  • This was not my experience at all. I had my Nexus 7 for about 3 weeks and the screen went foggy. I called customer service and not only did I talk to an english speaking representative, in less than 5 minutes (Total!) they had already sent me a new one. I got to use my device for the 2 days while the replacement was sent out. All I had to do was put my old one in the package that came with the new and send back. No extra fees, really smooth process. I would say it was the BEST service I've experienced. I was very satisfied with their response. So much so, that I bought a galaxy Nexus. I will wait a bit for shipments to get fulfilled before I buy the Nexus 4.
  • Bungled the Galaxy Nexus GSM rollout and now this. Can't tell if Google is just clueless with their retail operation or if the whole thing is just a half hearted attempt at grabbing some publicity with cheap devices.
  • Wow,I thought they learned their lesson on the nexus1. Guess not. Please Google go recruit a retail person from any of many companies that know what their doing.
    Thanks for nothing.maybe by Christmas?
  • Hopefully those greedy eBay sellers get their orders canceled, would serve them right.
  • Sitting back, holding out hope for a 32GB version. I also hope Google includes a gift card of some sort for the Play Store as a "sorry, we goofed up" your order.
  • they have waived the shipping fee, but that's just completely laughable.
  • another $25 in the play store would make me feel a little better about this mess
  • Won't do me much good (As i'm outside the Google Play territories with access to movies/music/etc.), i'd much rather have the Wireless charger if they're not going to straight up offer a cut in the price.
  • i can see how that would be a problem.. a free wireless charger would be okay too :) hell they gave the nexus Q away for free.. whats a charger?
  • Will Google ever learn how to handle a device launch? ever
  • Customers from the German Google Play Store also received the same backorder.
  • As long as it's not canceled, I'm glad. Then again, I was one of the lucky ones who got it a few hours after they went on sale by refreshing the store. (US)
  • I just got my email and I'm bummed. Heading to the BVI in 20 days and was hoping to take some photo sphere shots of caves and bars...err beaches while I was there. *sigh*
  • is this email coming after a shipping comfirmation, or instead of one.
  • I received no shipping confirmation.
  • did you get the delay email? i got a shipping confirmation and am hoping not to get delayed so late in the process.
  • Yes, I got the delay email.
  • i just got my backorder e-mail as well.. :( this is really screwing with my plan of selling my Gnex to recoup the cost of this new phone...
  • Ditto. Couldn't order but had already started the trade in process for my Gnex... Luckily a friend has an old Hero I'm gonna flash a new ROM onto to tide me over until this situation sorts itself out. And there I was thinking they couldn't get any worse than the N7 shipping fiasco when that launched...
  • Just got the email. Damn Google!
  • I better not get one of those delayed emails! I literally got my order in at the very beginning!
  • Man, this is worse than me not even getting a chance to order one :( Complete and utter fail from google.
    And people here who are saying that other companies have launches like that - is it a good thing that they do? Does it make us feel better? Does it make google look better? NO, so shut it.
  • I got the email too. Most (if not all) of us did. What everyone needs to do is go to google play, scroll down, and click on "My Orders & Settings". Once there, you will see your Nexus 4 purchase. Before the email, my status said its shipping date was the 15th - today. Now it says the 16th. That's fine with me. Instead of freaking out, do a little due diligence! It might make you happier. :)
  • mine just says the 15th.. nothing else
  • As does mine and I got the email
  • Yeah, but if you haven't got a shipping notice yet it probably isn't happening anytime soon. Mine still says it's shipping on the 15th but I haven't recieved a shipping notice (but I have received the "backordered" notice). Is what it is; at least I'm in line :)
  • Mine still says the 15th and I got the backorder email.
  • Mine always said the 16th and still does. Honestly I would have rather had not gotten one then having paid for a backorder. Now I have a $400 charge pending in my bank that I can't touch because I have no idea when it will actually ship.
  • obviously they picked the wrong company to source out the sales as well as their internal executives should be examined. this is how they make money! i couldn;t even guess how many people they just lost! this is so un professional! take orders, make a wait list, that way you know how many pieces you need... what are these guys doing? producing units only to find out people bought the galaxy note 2 or some other phone that will come out by the time they are ready!!!
  • I bought mine 5 minutes after they became available and just got the email. This sucks!
  • I'll wait it out. First batch always have problem. It isnt worth the headache
  • Also got this frustrating email in Canada
  • I have yet to receive any kind of information from Google, my Wallet purchase still shows pending, and my credit card hasn't been charged yet. I was one of those that had the play store Nexus 4 order page on auto-refresh and just happened to see it right as they went on sale and had no issues whatsoever placing my order, even though my Play store purchases still shows I ordered 2 bumper cases instead of a bumper case and a phone. I'm just hoping to hear something soon as it's becoming frustrating, especially since I've seen some people saying orders with a bumper case have been/are being delayed. If that's the case I will be pissed, they shouldn't offer it if it isn't available and I shouldn't be punished for them not having them, they should ship them separate. But anyways, end rant, this waiting game sucks!
  • i read in the forums the night before that bundling the bumper and the phone was a bad idea...tried to order them individually but couldnt get back through to get the bumper. hope your wait doesnt go too long
  • My Play Store Orders page says the same thing... I called Google to asked about that yesterday, and they told me my order was still good and on track for shipping. Yet, still haven't heard anything so far. And I totally agree that if they can't ship phone and bumper together, at least get whatever that's available out first. After all, we paid $14 for shipping (to me, that's expensive, even for 2-day air)...
  • I received shipping confirmation at 4:02 AM this morning. For those who are wondering, I managed to order 1x Nexus 4 (8) at approximately 11:50 AM on 11/13. Package was in Louisville, KY as of 12:50 PM this afternoon. I feel sorry for everyone who missed out or who got hit with a backordered email. Hang in there, guys. It'll work out in the end.
  • Yes, me too. But mine is coming tomorrow! It was originally scheduled for monday, but YAY!
  • Dawn; was to late so got the out of stock page... If the back orders will be send in three weeks; when will I be able to order my Nexus 4? My HTC Desire Z is dying and needs to be replaced soon...
  • This really shouldn't be a shock to anyone. The way the servers got hit was probably a bit unexpected. Really would love to know how many units were sold.
  • This is starting to get embarrassing. I know their not Amazon but come on.
  • ACK!!!! Just got the email. Boo. Just want the phone, not to hate El Goog.
  • Wow, doesn't look like Google learned a damn thing from the Nexus 7 debacle over the summer. Have to wonder if they actually really intend to sell many of these are just looking for publicity. With this sort of clusterf**kery really wonder what the future is of Google. They seem to have one upped the arrogance of Apple and tossed in a large dose of launch incompetence.
  • Canceled My 16GB after the notice. Suck it, Google.
  • Same here... Whatever... Not that they care or that I'm hurting them. Just one less thing for me to worry about. I've had dreams about this phone. Is this stupid or what? It's just a PHONE.
  • Did the same. They don't deserve my money.
  • I just got my email here in Canada. Totally bummed... I was getting really excited about my first Android phone, and now I have to wait. I feel like I'm being treated by Google the same way RIM has treated me since they announced BBX now OS10 and released the minor updated called os7... Hopefully my impression changes once I get my phone.
  • I'm just gonna suck it up and buy the Tmo version. I on it anyway and what an extra $150, that or wait till who knows how long.
  • I absolutely don't blame you. I went through this with my Nexus 7 order. I ended up buying my N7 in a Sam's Club and canceling my languishing Play Store order. Heck a few years back, I had so much trouble trying to get a Nexus S from Best Buy that I gave up and got a Thunderbolt.
  • I just got mine moments ago, disappointing but at least I can use my nexus 7 running 4.2 until my nexus 4 arrives in 3 weeks.
  • This stuff never happens: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13506_3-10469583-17.html
    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/10/17/hon-hais-explanation-for-iphone-5...
    http://www.texnews.com/1998/local/furby1223.html
    http://www.parentdish.com/2009/12/01/toy-hamster-shortage-has-some-paren...
  • hahaha. very well played.
  • Shortages aren't the problem. The problem is that people were logging in immediately after the phones went on sale and spent what could have otherwise been productive hours of their lives trying to order it. All the while, they're getting meaningless error messages. 2 days later they are told that despite the 2.5 hours of your life wasted trying to buy said phone, you will in fact not be getting what you ordered for another three weeks. How exactly is this better than a pre-order?
  • Everyone has priorities, some people prioritized clicking refresh on a page for 30 minutes, or even hours. People were reporting they were refreshing at 5pm central and able to order when the server refreshed and said "add to cart" instead of "notify me". I'll bet a hot dollar that a lot of these emails are going out to those people, and if it takes the full 3 weeks to fulfill these orders, I'll also be shocked. unless we're talking millions of people/devices that are affected here, in which case I'm shocked as well. I'm waiting for the dust to settle on this one and see what kind of numbers Google had to deal with, if it was a few thousand (maybe even a low 5 digit number) then getting pissed at Google is completely warranted, but if it's hundreds of thousands, well I doubt anyone but the most die hard fanboy would have predicted that kind of turnout, and if someone had predicted that at Google (or LG) themselves, they'd have had to have provided some kind of data to back up their claims.
  • Well said. I mean, let's be honest: it's been *two* days. Now, don't get me wrong guys. We *all* love new toys and want our phones right now. I get that. But for all you guys know, your phones will ship in a few more days. Companies almost always close to double the time they think it's really going to take, just to avoid the flood of phone calls. Considering the N4 sold out in less than 30 minutes, I'm guessing Google got a little more interest than they expected. I would love to see the sales numbers for that 30 minutes.
  • Oh suck it up buttercup. Every person that ordered the phone are early adopters. All early adopters should anticipate issues; whether that is the ordering/shipping process or with the unit itself. Plus, if you think having pre-orders would have helped the situation, then you are in a dream world. Look at what happened with the Nexus 7 roll out! Just step down off your digital soap box and find something else to rage on, lol. You'll get the device when it arrives.
  • Are you implying that the demand of the iphone is the same as for nexus 4 ? come on We all know Nexus 4 demand would be in the hundreds of thousand at its best On the other hand, millions were looking for Apple's new crap
  • I just checked. I got my order in at 10:35 AM CST. I do not want to receive any email besides shipping confirmation. :-)
  • So I ordered within one hour of it going on sale and got one of those emails saying three weeks until it could ship. I'm not terribly pleased about this, considering the site said "ships in 3-5 business days" when I placed my order. Say what you will about Apple, but they will take your money and send you stuff when they say they will. The Play Store should not be a reoccurring nightmare every time a new Nexus devices goes on sale.
  • Remember the mythical white iPhone 4?
    Even the black iphone 4 was pretty darn hard to come by at the beginning....
  • How about this for a conspiracy theory: They're having major problems with 4.2 and had to delay shipments. This might explain why 4.2 still hasn't gone out to Yakju devices.
  • it would have to be a conspiracy specific to phones, since my N10 has already shipped and I'm pretty sure every N7 has it on there now. I am going to scream though if they don't start OTAing for yakju soon though :)
  • I would seriously say it's time for the DOJ to investigate Google's online sales practices. They are clearly either deceptive or massively incompetent.
  • Ummm, what law did they break?
  • You're an idiot. To everyone else that is raging:
    If you really want some official outlet to complain to, then file a Better Business Bureau (BBB) complaint against Google.
  • BBB is a private organization that makes businesses pay to be listed. Nothing even close to "official" about them.
  • I was one of those who ended up with multiple orders and so Google asked for confirmation. I cancelled one of the orders of the two , figuring Google would restock it and thus it might give someone else a chance at one rather than selling it on eBay like some would have. But now I get the 3 weeks email. Stupid karma! You're supposed to have my back when I do the right thing :'( ...
  • I'm surprised that it sold at all with all of the people crying about no LTE or external storage!! (end sarcasm)
  • +1 LOL
  • I'm glad i didn't pre order 5 of them like I had originally wanted. I am so getting a bad mark on ebay -_- but I'll just keep the one I ordered for myself whenever it gets here
  • Let's start a pity party for the guy trying to resell these phones on ebay. You are a leech and I hope you get what you deserve.
  • I'm gonna be pissed if they send me that email later.. I ordered at 11:32am (8:32am PST) but I'm in NY does that matter? & what does your status say on the google play website? if you got that email https://www.androidcentral.com/e?link=https2F2F...
  • I was one of the unlucky ones who couldn't even get to checkout :(. At least my GNex received 4.2 and it has most of the features (sans HDR)
  • I'm starting to believe that only 100 people got this phone in the U.S.
  • Wouldn't surprise me if there were only a very few. Sort of like the $150 42" HDTV at Best Buy on black Friday. A gimmick to get people to take a look at Android. I'm guessing that the people who ordered yesterday and got the "sorry Charlie" email will be lucky to have the device in hand by Christmas. Those who haven't ordered yet will be lucky to get one by February.
  • Anyone who has received one of these emails care to post what time your order completed? I completed my order at 8:52 pst and still haven't been charged or received a shipment or backorder confirmation.
  • I got the backorder email. I ordered at 8:58 PST. I guess 6 minutes was the difference. :P
  • Look its simple, everybody here canceling their order because they got backordered thinking it makes some kind of statement against google....They dont care. Google is a mutlibillion dollar company and Android is just a channel to get people to use their services, its not their cash cow. So if they sell you these phones and tablets at no profit to them, it doesnt matter to them if you didnt get your phone on time.
  • By the way I did order a 8gb Nexus 4 and havent gotten an email either way about it yet. So Im in the same boat, but I know from who and what I purchased. I am not gonna sit here and pout because this happened, especially since this isnt the first time in Google's case, they actually have a track record of this, so nobody can claim ingnorance, people should of known they were rolling the dice on the 13th.
  • confusion google!? I ordered in the first five minutes and got my confirmation at 12:17.
    So why was my credit card charged on Tuesday then? and in my order status it's still showing nov 15 for delivery...
  • I just got off the phone with Google because they put mine on backorder as well. I waited forever for this release too. VERY disappointed. I am on AT&T, but if I go and get one from T-Mobile, will there be any way for me to unlock it for AT&T?
  • They are ALL Factory Unlocked. & probably sold out at any T-Mobile store