Sold out: LG blames Google for Nexus 4 shortage

Nexus 4 imageIf you’ve managed to get your hands on Google’s new Nexus 4 then you must be in the minority. The handset has been listed as “sold out” online pretty much constantly since its release at the end of last year.

And LG, which makes the handset, has now laid the blame squarely at Google’s door, revealing that demand has been ten times higher than the search engine giant predicted.

The Android-powered smartphone costs £239 for an 8GB version or £279 for the 16GB model. It comes with a 4.7-inch display, with 320 pixels per inch. At just over 9mm, it’s not quite as svelte as the iPhone 5’s 7.6mm or the Samsung Galaxy S3’s 8.6mm, but it certainly doesn’t feel chunky in the hand.

It won mixed reviews from critics who were lucky enough to get hold of the elusive gizmo. The Telegraph said: “With Google’s help, LG has produced a phone that is, in some ways, market leading, and so the increased competition in the market as a whole may benefit every Android consumer.”

Techradar praised it for its “almost unbelievable” pricepoint, coming in cheaper for the new Nexus than its predecessor. “We can’t overestimate just how revolutionary this is,” says the site.

The phone went on sale in November, at the same time as the 3G version of the Nexus 7, Google’s seven-inch tablet, and the firm’s iPad rival the Nexus 10 hit the shelves.

But it soon became apparent supply wasn’t going to meet demand for the Nexus 4. At first, LG was blamed for a lack of stock and rumours were doing the rounds that it was halting Nexus 4 production completely.

But Cathy Robin, who is director of LG Mobile in France, has now spoken out about the situation. She said sales forecasts had been based on sales of the Samsung-made Galaxy Nexus, meaning too few handsets were made and some of those that were produced were shipped to the wrong regions.

“Current deliveries of LG Google correspond to what had been pre-ordered on Google Play,” added Robin. “We continue to deliver regularly.”

Her comment come after Google’s UK and Ireland managing director Dan Cobley, blamed the Nexus 4 shortages on “scarce and erratic” supplies from the manufacturer and “flawed” communication.

But the problems, and seeming spat between LG and Google, don’t seem to have put the pair off working together. Just last week, LG said the Nexus 4 was the “first of many” products it was planning with Google.

James Fisher, LG’s senior vice president, said: “Through our collaboration with Google, we launched the LG Nexus 4 smartphone. This is the first of many devices to come from our growing partnership with this very selective company.”

Production of the Nexus 4 will be ramped up in February in a bid to bring shortages to an end.

Further details of new devices being launched by LG and Google are expected to be revealed at the Mobile World Congress conference in Barcelona next month.