Google's UK and Ireland chief has apologized for the Nexus 4 supply debacle, describing the paucity of stock as "unacceptable" and blaming LG for "scarce" supplies that have left many buyers waiting weeks for their phone. Dan Cobley, managing director of Google UK & Ireland, used Google+ to address critics, claiming the company expects to push out a fresh batch of handsets this week to satisfy UK/Ireland "pre-Christmas" delivery promises.
"I know that what you are going through is unacceptable and we are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue" Cobley wrote, after a post about the Google 2012 Zeitgesit was hijacked by angry Nexus 4 customers. "Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce, and our communication has been flawed. I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process."
Those who had originally been told to expect a 3-5 day shipping process will receive a refund on their delivery fees, Cobley says, with the orders themselves "now in process for fulfillment."
Demand for the Nexus 4 seemingly surprised Google, which saw launch day stock of the unlocked Android smartphone extinguished in a matter of minutes. That was followed by weeks of unavailability; when Google finally put its flagship device back on sale, some pre-order customers from the first round were surprised to find that they were still waiting for shipments whereas later buyers received their orders first.
In the meantime, the Nexus 4 has seen patchy availability at carriers, where on-contract deals work out considerably more expensive than the unlocked version Google offers direct.
LG, Google's hardware partner on the Nexus 4, is yet to comment on the supply issues, though having Google rest all responsibility for the scarcity on its shoulders is unlikely to go down well.
I know that what you are going through is unacceptable and we are all working through the nights and weekends to resolve this issue. Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce, and our communication has been flawed. I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process.
For those that originally received a 3-5 days shipping estimate, your orders are now in process for fulfillment. You can expect an email notification early this week which will include tracking information. Although you will be initially charged in full, you will receive a credit for the shipping charge soon after.
For others that received pre-Christmas shipping estimates, we anticipate processing your orders for fulfillment this week.
I realise that the people who ordered the Nexus 4 so early are among our most committed and loyal users and we are doing all we can to put things right.