Nexus 4 goes back on sale at 12pm Pacific - Can the Play Store hold up this time?

Nexus 4 goes back on sale at 12pm Pacific - Can the Play Store hold up this time?

Summary: Google's launch of the Nexus 4 and Nexus 10 tablets was a sales slam dunk but an unmitigated ecommerce disaster. Will round 2 go any better today?

TOPICS: Google

Last night, I received an email telling me that my long-awaited Nexus 4 would be shipping this week. This morning, my bank account was a few hundred dollars smaller (suggesting that the phone had shipped, although the promised confirmation email was nowhere to be found and my Google Wallet account still showed the phone as a pending transaction).  Another email told me that the Nexus 4 would be back on sale at noon Pacific today. So the question is, has Google learned anything from its Nexus launch debacle?


So far, Google's lack of transparency with its customers or the media has hardly inspired much in the way of confidence. It seems likely that demand will still be pretty extraordinary for a well-reviewed, unlocked, $300 superphone. So will the Play Store be crushed again by demand? And will those backordered phones actually make it out the door? After all, despite the debit from my bank account overnight, I don't yet have a tracking number in hand. Frankly, given the experience so far with Google's Play Store, I'm not holding my breath.

I'll attempt to buy a phone at 3:00pm my time today and see if I have any more luck. I'll post live updates here; post your own experiences in the talk backs below. One would hope that a few thousand brilliant minds at Google have been working tirelessly to ensure a much smoother experience for their second round of Nexus 4 sales here in the States (sorry, international readers...I'm afraid you're still out of luck for now). Whether their presumed hard work pays off remains to be seen.

Update - 2:08pm EST

Thank you, Google, for making a liar out of me. Moments after I published the post above, I received that elusive shipping confirmation for my phone. I bet a lot of other folks did too.


Update - 3:30pm EST

I gave it every benefit of the doubt. I tried several times and at different periods over the last 30 minutes. And here's the shocker of the day: The Google Play Store isn't handling demand even for a phone that is supposedly shipping in 4-5 weeks!

Here's the teaser (what some companies might call a "pre-order"):



And here's the result:


When you do finally get a pre-ordered device in your cart, watch out for the double and triple orders that users experienced the last time around. 


Update - 4:10pm EST

So the general consensus on Twitter and via the spate of emails I've received from frustrated would-be buyers is that Google learned absolutely nothing from their prior launch two weeks ago. Buyers are reporting the same haphazard status updates in the Play Store ("Shipping Soon", "Sold Out", "Add to cart", etc.) and the same unreliable buying process that they did on the 13th. Some folks have obviously been able to order a phone, but they're not the ones making noise on Twitter.

Wouldn't it have made more sense to wait an additional week before releasing new pre-order stock and really nail this, once and for all? The really miserable ecommerce experience getting repeated here is an absolute mystery to me.

Signing off in disillusionment for now.

Topic: Google

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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  • Gee thanks

    Thanks for posting this.........Now watch, Ill put mine in my cart, go to order it, and every one else will get it, including the idiots who put it on eBay for 500 dollars? Couldnt we just leave it to the people who chose to get the email notification? Once again THANKS!! :smh:
    • So much for Google's cloud computing strength

      If they cannot even get own e-Commerce site right then do you honestly believe they can build a proper cloud platform that is far more demanding?
  • Hope you get one

    I was lucky enough to get one in the first round. In the Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Raton area the HSPA+ speeds are actually faster than LTE. The call quality is also higher than it was on my Galaxy Nexus with Verizon by a large margin. Even when using bluetooth to talk through my car's mic and speakers it just blows away the GNex and Verizon in terms of call quality.

    Headphone quality and sound is better than the GNex and the processor speeds are crazy fast. The only supposed downside that I can think of is the smaller 16GB storage size, though, even with 120 hours worth of music and all my apps I still have a free 4GB of space so maybe I'm just complaining for nothing.

    The thing that really blew me away about this phone was all the fear and doom about how it doesn't have LTE just don't seem to matter at all in the real world. I've hit 23823kbps using speedtest and usuaslly get 8000+kbps with the lowest speed I've seen being at just over 6000kbps. In side by side tests with a GNex with LTE the HSPA+ beat out the LTE in 7 out of 10 tests. And I saw no amazing speeds from LTE that were better than the HSPA+. T-Mobile's network also seems to have more complete coverage across the suburban areas than Verizon's LTE.

    End story. I pay about half of what I did at Verizon and get better call quality and more consistent data speeds with unlimited everything. The story may be different in different areas of the country, but here in South Florida this phone rocks.
  • Forgot to mention

    Another awesome thing about having an unlocked Nexus 4. Tethering via Bluetooth or Wifi is available to you. I use my wifi only Nexus 7 with it and get data everywhere. No need to pay more money or root your phone. It works out of the box.
    • You can do that with any phone now.

      You could 1. get an app like fox fi to do it for free with out root. 2. If you have jelly bean at all like on my GS3 its built in and 3.$1.25m-fcc-fine-forced-to-allow-tethering-apps/

      Verizon lost a lawsuit about this issue. You can now do it.
      Anthony Massaro
  • Im on Walmarts Straight Talk

    On a Galaxy S II Skyrocket. Hope I can nab this one. If not, Ill just give up.
  • just checked - sold out?

    Both models are listed as sold out when I checked a few minutes ago.
  • now available.....

    ....ships in 1-2 weeks.
    • Grrrr


      This is getting ridiculous.
  • nexus 4

    nothing changed still sold out......
    Kido Daiman
    • It changed... For about 60 seconds.

      12:00PM PST I saw an ad to cart button, 12:02PM PST my checkout encountered an error because they were no longer in stock. Nice of them to send out email notifications to let us know about the extra box of 12 that they found in the corner of the office. I think it's time to start shopping for windows phones...
  • Google Sucks, part II

    Sold out in 8 minutes, really?
    • Nope

      Sold out in
      • Oops

        my 'less than' carrot seems to have hidden the '2 minutes' part of that post.
  • available for seconds then sold out again...

    doesn't land in the shopping cart. frustrating...
    Kido Daiman
  • uugggh

    stupid site, they need bigger servers to hold the load so we can purchase the phone!
    Genevieve Stoute
  • What a joke.

    This product launch has been a complete joke. Hit the add to cart button several times and either received an error or message that my cart was empty.
    Jason Venable
  • Pissed

    The anger I have with Google right now is beyond livid..Im sick of seeing "Oops, we had an error, please try again" when trying to get the thing in my cart about 20 times. THIS IS GOOGLE, THEY CAN AFFORD SOME DAMN SERVERS..
  • The item is in your cart.

    "Oops, we had a problem with your request. Please try again."
    Feels like mockery..
    Kido Daiman
  • WTF are they running

    Pentium 3 Servers!?