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Cool. Now just let me buy one, please.

I blogged about this yesterday. If that's their plan, it helps to occasionally have them in stock. But they've had none in stock, no preorders, nothing, for 10 days now. In fact, it's only been in stock for 30 minutes ever. False scarcity is a great marketing technique. Ask Apple and Nintendo. Key word is "false".

I don't think this is a marketing technique. I think Google + LG have genuinely screwed this one up through underestimation of demand, manufacturing/supply problems, or both. There's too much competition in phones right now for them to give up a customer to someone who is interested but needs to wait. Plus, with the holiday season in full swing, retailers are pushing discounts hard, and every day counts.

Constrained supply can be a good marketing technique for a short period time and can drive awareness and a sense of urgency, but the demand needs to be elastic. 12 months after the Wii launched, it was still highly sought and frequently sold out. I don't think we'll be saying the same for the Nexus 4 in November 2013.

There's no possibly way they screwed it up. Both companies are large enough to have competent production forecasting and supply chain management teams that this must be fully intentional. They decided exactly how many of the phones to make.

That's not to say that the limited number of phones must have been for marketing purposes. The decision could also have been balanced against other manufacturing commitments or other reasons.

Keep in mind that LG probably prefers to make their more profitable Optimus G, and that there has been a number of problems in the supply chain effecting the entire market place. Then consider that nobody expected a Google phone that wasn't backed by a carrier to sell that well, and that with the release of iPhone 5, a LOT of capacity in the system was locked up in guarantees (other phone makers had to lock up guarantees because Apple was locking up so much capacity). It wouldn't be hard for Nexus 4 to be in short supply.

In the mean-time, operators are re-selling it with a huge price increase. In the UK, Google Play's price is £239.00.

O2 sells it at £399.99 with no contract[1].

Carphone Warehouse, £389.95 with no contract[2].

In the same shops, the iPhone 5 is basically the same price than on the Apple store.

[1]: http://shop.o2.co.uk/mobile_phone/pay_monthly/init/LG/Nexus_... [2]: http://www.carphonewarehouse.com/mobiles/mobile-phones/LG_NE...

EDIT: It's not a counter argument, just adding more infos to the subject of pricing.

If you really want to buy it from Google play, and get an email when it's available, check out my site


Who [or what] decides whether scarcity is true or false?

The way I've looked at it is "everyone who wants one seems to be able to get one in a reasonable timeframe." Apple is a master of this. You might not get one on day one, but you'll get yours on day five. That's enough time to inspire people to line up to get theirs on day one.

The Wii was the same way. It was "hard to get" for two Christmases. How is that at all possible? A company misjudges their demand that badly for two years in a row? But really what happened was they just kept a decent pace of manufacturing that satisfied all demand just in time. I never heard of anyone not getting their Wii when they wanted it for either Christmas.

And you really need exactly that: stories of people "getting theirs". So the delays should be somewhat minimal, enough that people can show off getting theirs and tell the story in time for the next person to do the same thing. The Best Buy on Main Street gets deliveries on Tuesday. Come back then!

The Wii was the same way. It was "hard to get" for two Christmases. How is that at all possible?

People mess up forecasting all the time. I've been a personal witness to several instances of this. It usually results in someone getting fired.

Overproduction can be a terrible burden on any company. It is often better to take the low forecast to reduce risk.

Until someone comes out with proof that Google is sitting on warehouses full of unsold phones, I'll accept that it is a true scarcity.

I was about to say the same thing, but timeshifter (whose account appears to be hellbanned) beat me to it:

>If they actually can provide, but claim they can't, it's false.

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