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Why LG Is The WORST Nexus Partner EVER

Authored by: Eric McBride — Nov 5, 2012
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I am so very very glad that the awesomeness of my Galaxy Note 2 has kept me from wanting the LG Nexus 4. Now don’t get me wrong...the LG Nexus 4 is certainly one hell of a hardware powerhouse, and at $299, you won’t get a better Android phone at that price point. But LG do I put this nicely...There’s actually no other way to do so, so I'll word it but bluntly: they might have just f**ked it all up for themselves,  for Google's hopes for the new Nexus lineup, and most importantly, for lots of consumers that actually planned to buy the phone. 

Several EU countries have apparently ditched their plans of selling the Nexus 4 due to reports that LG later plans to sell the phone at a much higher price than Google does. Reports coming in from Italy, Austria, and Denmark are indicating that LG plans to sell the phone for 600 Euros, which is around $768. A Spanish retailer has already announced that they have dropped their plans to sell the device, and Phone House has also suspended its plans after learning of LGs plans. Phone House went on to state that the jacked up price made it impossible to honor their low price guarantee to customers, which makes a lot of sense when you think about how much cheaper Google is directly selling the same device for. 

Customers in Italy have taken to LG’s Facebook plans to protest the pricing, and I can certainly understand why. What the hell is going on in LG’s sales department? LG brings out an amazing phone at an amazing price point, along with a chance of gaining some consumer confidence back, and then what do they do? They pull this ridiculously dumb stunt.

What's the logic behind this move? What are they hoping it will accomplish? Is there actually ANY way that this makes sense? Taking advantage of customers that can't use Google Play to order the Nexus 4 by forcing them to order it at damn near DOUBLE the price? Pretty freakin low/dirty/stupid LG. 

LG has failed to issue any statement on the issue up to now, and considering how many companies are reporting this information, it would appear that it’s accurate (PhoneArena isn't reporting it as any type of a rumor, and I find the reports too consistent to be a rumor). I had my reservations about an LG Nexus device from the beginning, but now I am more than sure that Google is probably facepalming themselves for going with this OEM.

If LG wants to sell the Optimus G, which is pretty much their skinned version of the Nexus 4, for more money, then so be it. But how stupid do you have to be to blow this chance with Google and with consumers?

Some might argue that phones with this type of hardware normally sell at the 500 and 600 dollar price point, but that’s not what Google is trying to do here.They are trying to reform the Nexus brand, and all this action does is slap them in the face. LGs stunt not only hurts the Nexus brand, it makes Google, and Android, look pretty damn stupid (and pretty unorganized) if you ask me. It's also really messed up for consumers living in countries that can't buy the device from Google Play. 


I sincerely hope that this is all just one big misunderstanding (which I would natrually apologize for if it is), but something in my gut tells me that it’s not. I really hope that LG stops taking whatever drugs they’re on, and that they right this wrong before it gets completely out of hand. I also hope that Google just doesn't sit on the sidelines, and that they give LG a good dose of "WTF are you doing???" during their next phone call. 

What do you guys think? Am I overreacting here, or is this a pretty dumb thing to do?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Picture credits: Google Play (edited by myself)

Source: Androidos

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  • CJ Brown Nov 13, 2012 Link to comment

    what a horrible path for LG to pursue (they won't win Customer loyalty behaving like APPLE) ....

    I'd rather invest in a Samsung Note I as soon as it is available in the "No Contract" market (that is my prediction, left over consumer electronic goods replaced by a newer model will receive software upgrades & get repurposed into the best market where they WILL sell - & that is thee No Contract Market) ....

    C J

  • hans s Nov 8, 2012 Link to comment

    I just read about two retailers in Germany, where the phone is also available in the Play Store. One of them offers the 8GB model for 349 € and the other offers the 16GB model for 395 €, so they are about 50 € more expensive than in the Play Store. Thats not too much difference, as the retailers also have the advantage, that you don't necessarily need a credit card.

  • Thejus Rao Nov 7, 2012 Link to comment


    Question- IS the retail price only in select euro countries or on all the countries which do not have play store?

  • hans s Nov 7, 2012 Link to comment

    > The iPhone has ALWAYS been like this. No sd, no removable battery and so on.
    Except for the Nexus One (which is obsolete), no other Nexus device has a SD card slot, so you could almost say, that it's normal for Nexus devices to lack a SD card slot.

    > that's why I consider those missing "things" extremely important
    Yeah, YOU consider those things important.
    In the past, I also considered these things important, but as longer I have my current Android device, the less I really need a SD card slot or a removable battery. My current phone (SGS I9000) has a SD card slot and a removable battery. I never ran out of space, despite only having 8 GB internal storage and a 4 GB SD card. I also don't know, what was the last time I removed my battery, but it was a long time ago.
    On the other side, the latest official firmware for my phone is Android 2.3, despite being hardware wise almost identical to the Nexus S, which still receives official updates to the latest Android versions.
    When I bought my phone, I prefered the SGS because of the SD card slot. If I reconsider my decision now, I would take the Nexus S, because firmware updates matter to me and I hate Samsungs update policies.
    If updates matter to you, the only real choice is a Nexus device. If other things matter more, buy a phone with these other things. Be grateful, that you have the choice.

    > if LG asks me 600€
    Again, LG doesn't ask you to pay 600€. If there's someone who asks you to pay 600€, it's the retailer. LG asks the retailer for much less than 600€ and it's up to the retailer to decide, which margin he adds. So don't complain about LG, when it's the retailer who's (in your words) pointing a gun and saying "give me your wallet".

  • Marcel Viola Nov 6, 2012 Link to comment

    Most people who have experience with LG and their let's call it "companie policy" thought that can't be true there must be a catch. it is. thx Eric, damn good articles! You talk a lot people from the heart they knew beforehand that LG was a bad idea.

  • LuBre Nov 6, 2012 Link to comment

    The iPhone has ALWAYS been like this. No sd, no removable battery and so on. The android market is different, that's why I consider those missing "things" extremely important (if LG asks me 600€).

  • hans s Nov 6, 2012 Link to comment

    I think a lot of you still don't know the meaning of "recommended price". When LG "recommends" a price of 599 €, it doesn't mean, that the retailers are forced to sell at this price. The retailers are free to charge any price they want. They could even charge a higher price, but I highly doubt that. I also highly doubt, that there will be no retailer that sells the Nexus 4 below the recommendation. That said, if you compare prices at retailers you will surely find one that sells the Nexus 4 well below 590 €. You won't find a retailer, that sells for < 400 €, because then the retailer wouldn't earn a reasonable amount of money.

    Also for me, the Nexus 4 is a top phone, as it is generally very well spec'd. The missing things you mention aren't features that make a top phone, they are features, that not everyone needs, but could make a difference when selecting between similar devices. Or would you say that the iPhone is not a top phone, because it lacks a removable battery, an SD slot and LTE, that works globally?

  • LuBre Nov 6, 2012 Link to comment

    > 250 € would be the recommended
    > margin for the retailers

    It WOULD BE for another phone, yes. Not for the Nexus 4, that lacks some stuff like removable battery, LTE, SD slot and so on. It's NOT a "top" phone. It's cool and all, but only if they sell it for a decent price (say around 400€). For 590€ I can find better alternatives (and some of them are even cheaper).

  • hans s Nov 6, 2012 Link to comment

    > +250€ is not a margin, it's like pointing a gun and saying "give me your wallet"

    250 € would be the recommended margin for the retailers. In the end it's not LG who dictates the margins, it's the retailers. So when a retailer sells with a margin of 250 €, complain to the retailer, not to LG.

  • DaBartonator
    • Mod
    Nov 6, 2012 Link to comment

    Sammys nexus have been ok asus ok lg horrible now I want to see what Motorola can do XD a nexus max?!

  • Robert Jansen Nov 6, 2012 Link to comment

    I'm afraid it's going to be expensive in the Netherlands as well, with our lack of a play store for hardware.

    Say Eric, you're on a German play store account, right? ;-)

  • LuBre Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    > OEM's and retailers cannot sell products at cost,
    > they have to make margin

    +250€ is not a margin, it's like pointing a gun and saying "give me your wallet"

  • ljhaye Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    One thing that we forget is that the OEM's and retailers cannot sell products at cost, they have to make margin. Right now only Apple and Samsung make any money selling smartphones. Google like Amazon can afford to subsidize their hardware but HTC, LG, Sony, etc cannot. So the discrepency makes sense but it doesn't make sense to label these guys evil or wrong. Customer will complain about price until they only see one OEM making phones then they'll want variety again.

    The problem is Google trying to compete on price but at the cost of their partner OEMs' profitability.

  • LuBre Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    > I also hope that Google just doesn't sit on the sidelines
    > and that they give LG a good dose of
    > "WTF are you doing???"

    I seriously doubt that Google wasn't aware of that. Prices were discussed months ago, I'd say. So everything was already set in stone and Google just let it go.

  • Mario Zhivago Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    One thing I don't understand it's that those countries that Google play store. If u type Google play es on Google you can get the link to the main page to Google play and there the tab for devices in it.

    I am also upset that is LG and really hoped would be Motorola as i love the Razr looks etc.

    Well maybe next year.

  • hans s Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    As I stated earlier, I do't deny that retailers are upset, especially in countries, where the phone gets sold in the Play Store. But that's not LGs fault. And I highly doubt that in countries, where the Nexus isn't available in the Play Store, no retailer will sell the phone. Sure, it will be more expensive, but I doubt it will cost 600 € at every retailer.

    So from the view point of a customer it doesn't make a difference, if a retailer in Germany or Spain sells the Nexus 4 or not, as I can get it in the Play Store in this countries.

    And in countries where the Nexus 4 isn't available in Play Store, you either pay the extra cost for the retailer, wait for Google to sell it in the Play Store or buy a different phone. But you can't make LG responsible for selling their phone at probably the same price to Google and retailers.

  • Dvoraak Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    I recently asked Best Buy why they don't stock Nexus devices. They said there was no room for profit with Nexus. Maybe Google is, in part, the villianous party here. They sell with residual profits in mind while LG, as a manufacturer, needs profit on the front end rather than the back. Either way, Google and OEMs need to line up their goals and sales strategies.

  • Eric McBride Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    Here in Berlin, the Galaxy S3 costed 620 Euros when it first came out, and dropped a few weeks later. That "recommendation" you speak of is true, and as seen with the S3, it will be used. The problem is that retailers selling it for 600, or 500, or even 400 will still have a big conflict problem, which is why previous Nexus partners are pulling out of their cooperation agreements with the Nexus 4.

    I do get what you are saying, but even comparing the Galaxy S3 isnt really valid here, as it is THE most hyped Android device of all time. Do you think Samsung and Google would have both launched that product if one company was selling it for 300, and the other for 500 or 600?

    That being said, the Note 2 debuted here for 699, but dropped to 580 a week later. Maybe the same will happen with the Nexus 4. But regardless of how retailers want to sell it, Im sure the ones distancing themselves from it have good reasons for doing so.

  • hans s Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    Eric, you're still missing the point. As I stated earlier and it's also stated in the PhoneArena article, the price is a RECOMMENDATION. Retailers are free to sell it at a lower price. It's not like with Apple products, where the prices are fixed for all retailers.

    The SGS3 you mention, that sold well for over 500 €, has a price recommendation of 699 € (in Germany), but I saw not one retailer, who sold it at that price. It's currently around 460 € on Amazon and I think it never cost much more than 600 € there. So I highly doubt, that every retailer will sell the Nexus 4 for the price recommended by LG.

  • David H. Nov 5, 2012 Link to comment

    Sorry I haven't read through the comments, so this is likely already covered, but we don't know exactly how much Google is subsidizing the sale of this device.

    It is probable that the price LG proposes is reasonable, since it is the price other manufacterers have set for similar devices, if that is the case it would be crazy for LG to stay close to the price on Google Play because they would lose a ton of money for every device they sold.

    While Google is huge and can afford to lose money on one device to gain market share, LG, while also huge, is nothing like Google and must make money on every product they sell, or go out of business.

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