In addition to the problems with supply, there are the problems with the play store and customer service. Behind it all seems to be management that is not taking these problems seriously.
Here's what the managing director Google UK said :
Dan CobleyDec 13, 2012+63: Folks. I am very sorry to hear about your poor experiences. I will look into it and get back to you.
Yes, on December 13 he sounded surprised by the flood of complaints on his G+ post and would 'look into it'.
Two days later all he could come up with was a generic apology and a vague commitment to do better:
Dear all, 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 erratic, and our communication has been flawed.
I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process.
I am optimistic that we will be able to share some positive news shortly, but I do not want to cause any more disappointment by making a commitment until we are 100% sure we can deliver on it.
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.
I've seen corporates where customers are basically viewed as a nuisance and this is exactly the way they communicate.
I read it, as someone in that boat who ordered but didn't get their phone yet, despite putting in a successful order less than 60 seconds after the stock went live, that he knew they'd fucked up and wanted to make good and could we hang in there just a little longer.
I was pleased with the update and that a senior executive was looking at it, despite the mistakes already being made.
Is this really surprising though? You don't have a typical relationship with Google like you do with Apple. Their main profit center is advertising revenue so their interests aren't exactly aligned with a customer trying to purchase a smartphone or a Gmail user trying to get support for the service. I remember signing up for AdSense and I would get tons of emails from Google about calling to speak with a rep to setup an ad campaign, and it seems perfectly rational that that is where their support would be.
I buy an iPhone instead of an Android device because I don't want to be the product or an ancillary thought in Google's strategic objective of ensuring their services aren't locked out of other platforms. From Apple I get their focus as a customer and as result the user experience (both pre-sale and post-sale) has to be excellent, because that is their entire business.