If you’ve been trying to get your hands on a Nexus 4 (without signing a contract, anyway) then these past few weeks have probably been some pretty iffy ones. Even now they’re unavailable from the Google Play store, but LG France Communications Director Cathy Robin wants to straighten things out a bit — according to an interview with her in Challenges.fr, LG remains devoted to the Nexus 4 and pegs some of the supply woes on Google’s questionable foresight.
The full (and mildly kooky) Google translation can be found here for you non-francophone types, but the gist of Cathy’s argument is that it’s all a case of misallocated resources. Google apparently overestimated demand for Nexus 4s in some countries, underestimated demand in others (she claims that strong forecasts for UK and German demand led to a shortage in France), and generally made some curious calls when it came to where the lion’s share of Nexus 4s should wind up.
Curiously, Dan Cobley, Google UK’s Managing Director said in an apology on Google+ in December that “supplies from the manufacturer are scarce, and our communication has been flawed,” so it seems that Google is unwilling to shoulder the blame by themselves. Gotta wonder how/if Google will respond now that another LG representative has called them out (even if she says that she’s not outright blaming Google).
In any case, she also quickly downplayed the (pretty damned silly) notion that LG would be winding down production of the Nexus 4 just a few months after the device was officially released to the world. If anything, production momentum is expected to pick up as we head into February, though there’s no telling what sort of effect Mobile World Congress (and its multitude of phone announcements) could mean for LG’s production priorities going forward. But is it all too late?
It’s no secret that the Nexus 4 was designed using LG’s one-time flagship the Optimus G as a base, but the Korean company is reportedly working on a successor to the device that (surprise surprise) should outclass the original in a number of ways. Rumors of a new Optimus with a 5-inch 1080p display have picked up plenty of steam thanks to reports from Korea’s MK Business News, and a May 2013 launch window has been bandied about to go with them.
Meanwhile, those rumors dovetail rather nicely with murmurs of new LG Nexus hardware — specifically a Nexus 5 smartphone and a Nexus 7.7 tablet — that continue to make the rounds thanks to a post from Korean forum Ruliweb. The purported spec sheets are nothing to sneeze at (both are said to sport the newly-announced Tegra 4 chipsets from NVIDIA, among other things), and the rumor du jour says that they’ll see the light of day at Google I/O in (dun dun dun!) May 2013.
Is it possible that Google and LG are planning to push out even more hardware together on such short notice? Sure — LG USA CMO James Fisher said at CES that the Nexus 4 was the first in the company’s “growing partnership” with Google after all, but that by itself shouldn’t be taken as gospel. Still, if the timing for both of these events pan out the way the rumors suggest, we could be looking at some fresh new Nexus gadgets much sooner than expected, and the Nexus 4 may wind up an unintended casualty of change.