Nexus devices have never been popular. Sure, they had a cult following for a long time, but they never really hit popularity with the general consumer. The Nexus One was a great device, but in terms of sales, it was an absolute failure. Its successor, the Nexus S, did not sell all that well either. How many have you seen in the wild? I can confidently say I’ve only seen one. The Galaxy Nexus was Google’s first attempt at selling a device off of the Play Store, and it did fairly decently. The market for unlocked devices isn’t huge, so it obviously didn’t do great. The only time a Nexus phone did well is with carrier versions of the Galaxy Nexus. The Verizon Galaxy Nexus did fairly well, from the look of it.
So when the Nexus 4 went on sale for the first time, and Google was hit with a torrent of people trying to buy them, it’s understandable why they sold out so fast and the site crashed. They were not prepared. Who knew that the Nexus 4 would be that popular? I don’t think anyone expected the Nexus 4 to sell well, not even the always optimistic folks at Google. But people went mad, started buying as many as they could. The gap between expectation and reality was massive, and Google suffered for it. In the end, Google sold out fast and the Play Store crashed into a concrete wall at the speed of sound.
Google received bad press for it, people were mad and threatening to cancel their orders, and things were looking really bad. But you can’t quite blame them for giving you such crappy service. You can be mad, and you should be, but you can’t fully blame them. They should have been more prepared, but I get why they weren’t. Everyone should. And I’m happy to see that people mostly stayed loyal and tried again two weeks later. We gave Google another change.
And what did Google do with that second chance? Instead of redeeming themselves, they squandered it and failed once again. For the second round of Nexus 4 sales, Google had two weeks to prepare. They knew the demand. They knew how rabid their audience was. They knew that these people would do anything to get a Nexus 4. They had time, and as an absolutely huge company, they had all the resources they needed. Yet when the Nexus 4 became available again, the Play Store once again crashed and burned. Google, what the hell?
Maybe I could forgive it the first time. You didn’t know any better, you nor anyone expected such crazy demand. This time, it’s ridiculous and unforgivable. You knew what you were getting yourself into, and we expect more from a massive corporation that we are throwing money at. There is no excuse for such bad service.
Google has been known for spotty service. Most of their products are nothing but beta tests. They come out with bugs, and we deal with them. Because despite the glitches and the problems, their services are some of the best. However, in my humble opinion, the Nexus 4 is not one of the best phones out there. Its price is unbeatable, but it is not one of the best. In fact, with that fragile design, I say to it the same thing I said to the iPhone 4 at launch: “I’m not paying for bad design.”
That’s not saying the Nexus 4 is a bad phone. It is a great phone, especially at that price point. It’s modern and powerful and attractive and can definitely play with the big boys. It is a high end phone. But for many, it’s not worth it if they have to deal with these kind of issues when ordering. What does it say about future customer service from Google? Many of us will take our business elsewhere, because we CAN get that same experience elsewhere without the bad service. The Nexus 4 doesn’t exactly stand out in any way except a new version of Android, and the same can be achieved to an extent with a quick flash of CyanogenMod.
Google, we here at DroidDog love you. You’ve created our favorite mobile OS, you create great services and products, and you’ve created a great phone at a fantastic price point. Don’t get us wrong, we want the Nexus 4. But it isn’t worth it, not like this. We’re sure you’ll release another batch of Nexus 4′s to your rabid audience, and we’re sure you are aware that most of those people will bite even after all these issues. But please, for goodness’ sake, fix these issues and do your best to make the next batch of sales go smoothly. Even if you sell out, make sure the Play Store reliably tell us when they are available or sold out. That’s all we ask. Then you can have our hard earned money. Doesn’t sound so hard, does it?
Dear loyal DroidDog readers, share your frustration. Share your stories. Have the Play Store issues prevented you from getting a Nexus 4 once, or even twice? Or if you got one, what did you have to go through? Tell us in the comments!