[Dropcaps]Why is it exclusive? Easy, because it’s so hard to obtain one.[/Dropcaps] On November 13, 2012 Google released its 4th Flagship phone, the Nexus 4. Thirty minutes later, it was sold out. Besides being lucky enough to find the device in a T-Mobile store, the odds of obtaining a Nexus 4 are pretty slim. LG and Google have been going back and forth a bit in the blame department, but my guess is that it was a combination of bad forecasting in terms of how many they should actually produce. So how can you get yours?
Option 1: The Play Store
The likelihood of you obtaining a device through this method is probably going to take the most of amount of time and give you the most amount of pain. Right off the bat, you have to actually wait until the Play Store no longer shows “out of stock.” Then you’ll have to wait until LG has made enough to finally ship you one. There have been countless stories of orders not being shipped using the FIFO method (first in, first out) and people’s orders being cancelled for no reason.
Another thing to consider is receiving a defective model. If your Nexus 4 is indeed defective and you have to send it back for a replacement, it could take a while. When there are people who haven’t received their phone at all, and then there are the people who have one to use but have problems with it…you can guess which people have the higher priority.
Option 2: T-Mobile
In my opinion, especially during the month of December in 2013, this is the best way to go. It may not be the cheapest route, but you have a better chance of getting your Nexus 4 before ordering it via the Play Store. I can confirm that since mid-January T-Mobile has been selling the Nexus 4 directly in the store. When I went to go pick mine up the store had received three other Nexus 4’s that same day.
Another benefit of buying it from T-Mobile is that if you have a problem with your device and you have insurance, you can take it straight to the store to reconcile the situation rather than having to exchange emails and phone conversations with Google representatives. If you’re lucky, they may be able to exchange your device right then and there (it’s not likely but hey, it’s worth a shot). If your carrier is T-Mobile but you purchased your device through the Play Store, per their official internal document , you’ll have to contact Google if you need to exchange your device.
The negative of buying the Nexus 4 through T-Mobile is that you’ll be paying more. The 16 GB model in the Play Store sells for $350. The 16 GB model through T-Mobile is $500, which is paid by $200 up front and then $15/month for 20 months (the length of the contract). As I mentioned earlier, it was great if you were able to place an order for the phone in December of 2013 due to T-Mobile waiving all down payments on 4G phones. This promotion allowed people to obtain a 16 GB Nexus 4 for $300.
Option 3: Online Sellers
If you really have that Nexus 4 craving that you need to quench immediately, then try your hand at Craigslist or Ebay. You may pay a little more but at least you won’t be waiting weeks.
The Real Question
Why Google didn’t foresee the demand for the 4th iteration of their Nexus phone? The Nexus 7, Google’s 7” tablet, didn’t take long to sell out either despite it being available in stores as well. Is Google doing this on purpose in order to generate demand? Of course some people will absolutely not wait weeks, or possibly months, for a device to arrive. On the other hand, Google probably knows that there are those who will hold out not matter what. I’m guessing that there are more of the former out there compared to the latter, so they’ve got to be losing money on this. Maybe they should consider hiring some former UPS or FedEx employees?