Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

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.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact