Did LG Already Stop Making The Nexus 4?

    January 11, 2013
    Zach Walton
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The Nexus 4 came out last year to rave reviews from critics and consumers. The latest smartphone from Google and LG was a victim of its own popularity, however, and has been consistently sold out for the past month. A new report out of CES may shed some light on why that has been the case.

IBTimes UK reports that a rumor is currently circulating that says LG has stopped production of its popular Nexus 4. It would definitely explain why the device has been sold out, but why would LG, a relatively minor player in the smartphone market, stop making such a popular device. The answer might have slipped out during LG’s CES press conference.

IBTimes UK reports that James Fisher, LG Electronics SVP, said that the Nexus 4 was just “the first of many” Nexus devices it was working on with Google. He also teased that the company would be revealing some new devices during the Mobile World Congress in February. One of those new devices may be a new Nexus smartphone meant to replace the Nexus 4.

At the moment, this is just a rumor, but it’s a particularly interesting one. Why would LG so quickly replace the Nexus 4 with a newer model? Does Google think the Nexus line needs a refresh so soon after the Nexus 4 proved to be a critical and commercial success? There doesn’t seem to anything fundamentally wrong with the hardware so it makes little sense to replace it with hardware that’s only marginally better so soon.

If it did get replaced though, what would a new Nexus smartphone from LG look like? Rumors from IBTimes say that the next Nexus could sport a 2GHz quad-core processor and the next version of Android – Key Lime Pie or Kandy Kane. If it sports the next version of Android, however, the phone wouldn’t be available until Google I/O which takes place in May. I don’t think LG or Google want to hold off on having a Nexus smartphone for that long.

In short, I don’t think there’s much credence to this rumor. Is LG making a new Nexus smartphone? Probably. Are they going to phase out the Nexus 4 so soon to make room for it? Probably not. It’s already been well reported that LG has “scarce and erratic” distribution, so we might just have to wait a bit before the Nexus 4 returns to the Google Play store.

In any case, we’ve reached out to Google for comment. We’ll let you know if and when they get back to us.

  • F.U.B.A.R

    If that’s true and LG is going to replace the Nexus 4 so soon, then that would be one of the dirtiest moves ever towards the consumers who already got one.

    • http://www.webpronews.com/author/zach-walton Zach Walton

      Hence why I don’t see it happening. I do think that LG is making a new Nexus phone in the making, but I can’t see them replacing the Nexus 4 so soon.

    • xyzyxx

      I’m happy with my Nexus 4. I think I’ll be happy with it for another few years, as long as it gets updates for that long. Doesn’t matter too much what other phones come out in the meantime.

  • F.U.B.A.R
  • Mr. Audio

    This “rumor” is based on uninformed gossip.

    Previous Nexus phones didn’t sell in huge numbers, in large part because they were sold unsubsidized and unlocked until the Samsung Galaxy Nexus (which had it’s own issues, notably Verizon preventing Google from doing direct updates). The Nexus 4 has an amazing low price for such a high-end phone, PLUS it offers LTE-competitive speeds (via T-Mobile HSPA+ 42 in many areas), PLUS modern versions of Android have become the height of technology. These factors have all come together to make the demand for the Nexus 4 much, much higher than previous phones.

    Google, understandably, didn’t commit to a large production run; it’s making almost nothing on the hardware, so they couldn’t afford to be sitting on hundreds of thousands of unsold handsets if it didn’t sell well. Clearly, it HAS sold well, with every available phone being sold almost immediately, and lots of backorders. But anyone who imagines that a manufacturer like LG is so inefficient that they leave a production line idling “just in case” they have more orders doesn’t understand modern manufacturing. Production lines are either producing goods, or being switched out/upgraded to produce something else.

    It’s likely that LG fulfilled Google’s original order in full, and then Google had to wait 30 days or so for another available slot in LG’s production schedule for the next batch. Clearly, though, that next batch is on the way. Not only have some people with backorders been given shipping dates, but Google has also announced that all T-Mobile stores will have the phone in stock by the end of the month. Both of those facts refute this “rumor.”

    The only REAL problem is that Google is fairly new to dealing with the production and distribution of mass-market consumer items, and is still learning the process. This was a bump in the road that they’ll learn from, and in a month, everyone will have forgotten about it.

    • mr uk

      An excellent comment.

      I do wonder if LG has a production capacity to meet global demand. With the phone being a bit of a loss leader and the LG Motorola deal completed in 2012, LG may be phased out of the supply chain.

      Google do though need to keep Samsung sweet and subsiding a S3 rival is not good practice!

      • mr uk

        Sorry, that is the Google LG deal in 2012. Can my earlier comment be corrected?

      • mr uk

        Sorry, that is the Google Motorola deal in 2012. Can my earlier comment be corrected?

  • Toro

    I read a comment on another site that nailed it: “Too much phone for too little profits, the Nexus 4 was only meant to hurt competitors during the holiday heavy mobile sales, I’m sure the next Nexus will have an extra 100 or 200 slapped on its price tag.”

  • Todd

    I am a fan of android 100% but after al this crap of trying to buy a Nexus 4 made by LG I tell you one thing…I will NEVER buy a product made by LG or Google ever again! What a joke, is this anyway to treat their potential customers? I think they really hurt a lot peoples pocket books as well having all the Nexus 4’s forsale on ebay for hundreds of dollars over retail. Sorry but it just really pissed me off and this taste in my mouth will take a long time to leave.

  • Aluzeros

    Nexus 5 from Motorola

  • dwight deyampert

    I feel like all of the anger towards LG and Google just show how ridiculous we, the consumer have become. I own a Galaxy Nexus among other phones and would love to have a Nexus 4 but its not the end of the world. LG will rule the smartphone stage very soon. Just look at their lineup, the Optimus G, the L9, the Intuition, the 4x, the Spectrum, the Nexus 4 etc. All out right now! Why can’t we just wait and buy it when it comes out, if you get another phone out of anger you will only be hurting YOU! Its just a phone, damn.