Nexus 4 - The Most Disappointing Launch of A Flagship Phone, Ever.
The Nexus 7 was announced after much anticipation at Google I/O, the brand new 7-inch tablet that would force itself into the position as the best android tablet thus far. Me being an android fan from since the Nexus one had a freakout equal to Steve Balmer when Windows 7 was announced. The following week the Nexus 7 went up for pre-order on the Play Store.
I liked the Play store, it had always been quick and snappy, never seemed to have too much of a bias against me because I was in Canada, and it was Google through and through. Needless to say I ordered the Nexus 7 as soon as my hands could type my credit card info.
When the big day came for the tablet to get shipped, my order stayed pending. I didn't freak out or anything, it was only natural. Google was going to take care of America first, makes sense as my Tablet was shipping from America. Next day, order was still pending.
day after, pending.
day after... pending.
After convincing a friend that the Nexus 7 would change the natural axis of the earth, he decided to pull the trigger and buy one. Of course by the same method I did, the Play Store. Three short days later a package arrived at his door step. Pending is all my order said.
My tablet shipped weeks late, but I never faulted Google on this. It was one of their very first major releases on the Play Store, a service that was still in beta testing like most most Google products. But this shipping issue wasn't isolated to me, it was clear that there was an amazing lack of organization going on behind the curtains, no one either at Google or the shipping warehouses had no idea what was going on.
A few months went by and it was that time of the year for a new Nexus phone. Like I said above I've loved the line since the Nexus One and have owned every iterations since then. I read the first announcement here on The Verge and was flushed with excitement. All the doubts I had harboured from all of the leaks were completely washed away, it just seemed like a solid all around super-phone.
The big day was Nov.13 all around the world. That was all the information we got, other than of course it would only sell on the Play Store (Here in Canada at least). We had no word when the phone would go live, or how many they had, where it would ship from, or if there would be pre-orders.
There were no pre-orders, which seemed logical after the Nexus 7 fiasco. We would have to wait until today to get our greasy fingers on that "BUY NOW" button. We also learned that the phone would ship from our respective countries, which is a nice change from the before. All of us put our faith into Google and speculated at what time the phone would go live.
There were chat rooms, forums and hangouts all buzzing with excited people wondering when they could finally see what LG had to offer the Nexus line. A number of us had even phoned the relatively new phone support on the play store to see if we could get some more info. This is where we started getting uneasy.
"umm....one moment............*puts on hold*.......it'll be opened to order at 9am"
"yes I think so"
Things I've learned from 4 different calls
Could be either 9am PST / 12am PST/ 9am CST
Will be shipped from a warehouse in your country
They really h ave no f*&*#king idea what they're doing...
The sheer number of answers members got when trying to get information from the Play Store was staggering. It didn't instill much confidence. This is also around the time when we learned that the Nexus 4 sold out within a few minutes in Australia. We knew it was going to be a race, the winner being the nerds who can hit F5 the fastest, and all night long.
12pm PST rolls 'round. And nothing turns up. We all collectively agree that it's going to be 9am PST. Despite what Android Central had reported. The night continues, and all of us are getting pretty tired. I decide it's time to throw in the towel and set the alarm for 7am PST just in case.
I wake up promptly and to my luck, nothing has happened yet. I start to get my F5 on.
8:32am. First reports of people being able to buy on the Play Store in the US. Things are heating up now. I can feel my palms getting sweaty. 8:35am, a time that not a single person predicted, the phone goes live. Smashing everyones expectation that it would be 9am. I click the buy now button as hard as I could, as fast as I could, with all of my boyish dreams of the nexus 4 behind it, I clicked. The click was heard throughout Vancouver, they knew, I knew, the Nexus 4 was mine.
I proceeded to checkout, and it said the words that spurned me the last time. "order pending". I'm a patient man, I know their servers must've been hit hard at that moment. So I waited, refreshed... waited, refreshed... waited refreshed. AND IT WAS GONE!
Gone you ask?
How can that happen? I have no idea. But the Nexus 4 order was gone. With the emotional devastation driving me forward at a speed that would rival a cheetah I went back to the order page.
That's all it was. My chance, destroyed.
Apparently they had sold out in about 7 minutes here in Canada, and the US was not very far behind that. This is time number two that Google has showed us, their biggest fans, they are in capable of a large scale launch. It's been the most disappointing morning ever.
No word from Google, no word from the support team, it seems like the phone has just sold out.
Now, lets take a look at Apple's iPhone 5 launch in comparison. First of all, multiple points of sale because of their extensive brick and mortar stores. Second of all, smooth pre-orders. Third of all, volume. All of the Nexus nerds who were up at 8:35 this morning are a tiny, microscopic fraction of the amount of people who waited in line, or ordered the iPhone 5 online. And I mean that, we're a rare breed us nerds.
Google couldn't even accomodate 50% of us. This has really been a botched launch, and anybody who wanted to order the phone out of curiosity or had read the reviews and found their next... well they will have to wait. For how long? Well no one knows. This is a terrible example of what a flagship phone launch should look like, feel like, and even be like.
The bottom line is, your phone is a failure if you can't even get it into the hands of your most loyal of fans. I'm interested to see what Google has to say about this (if anything) and when I can get a Nexus 4.