While tales of stockouts and shortages are common whenever there's a new Apple product getting released, they're somewhat less common with other brands. But the word around the Nexus 4 from LG, Google's (News - Alert) newest smartphone, actually makes the iPhone look like it took its sweet time, as reports emerge saying it took just one hour for the Nexus 4 to sell out in the United States.
The Nexus 4 took just one hour to go from "in stock" to "who knows when more will show up" as demand was almost shockingly brisk. Granted, Google's marketing decisions may have had something to do with it--the device was only available on Google Play and in T-Mobile (News - Alert) locations with a discount and a two-year contract--but Google nonetheless had to set up a mailing list for users to find out when next the device will be available.
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Pricing on the models was likely a big draw for anyone interested in a new device, as the eight gigabyte version was selling for $299, and the 16 gigabyte version was selling at $349. But it's unclear just how many phones Google was offering up in the first place, and that number would change perspectives quite readily. It's one thing to sell out of a million devices in an hour, another entirely to sell out of a thousand. Google's Google+ alert following the rush of sales made it quite clear that more Nexus 4 models are en route, saying:
"There’s been so much interest for the Nexus lineup that we’ve sold out of some of our initial stock in a few countries! We are working hard to add more Nexus devices to Google Play in the coming weeks to keep up with the high demand."
To make matters worse, reports have also emerged of errors and an overall buggy experience when trying to order the Nexus 4 in its opening hours of sales. But it's not hard to see the whole affair as a bit of competition coming Apple's (News - Alert) way.
The field has been dominated by Apple for some time now, with Android in hot pursuit and the rest of the market struggling to hold even a bit of market share. With an Android device making an Apple-esque landing in the market, that gives Android quite a bit of credibility in the field. Considering that, previously, some had wondered about Apple's long-term viability, and even recently the Samsung Galaxy S3 actually wrested the top spot in sales from the iPhone (News - Alert) 4S--ahead of the iPhone 5 launch--it's enough to wonder if maybe the market finally has a bit of a fight on its hands.
With Google keeping mum on the numbers, full conclusions are tenuous at best. But it is quite clear that Google and Android won't be walking away from the market quietly, and Apple may not be having things all its own way anymore. The Nexus 4 is also looking like a pretty popular device, and the extent of that popularity will be quite clear when Google brings out the hard data.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman