By Rich Trenholm on 28 May 2013
The great white Google Nexus 4 is official -- but it looks like the last Nexus to be built by LG, which says it doesn't need another poisoned chalice like the Jelly Bean phone.
The ivory version of the bargain-tastic Android flagship joins the ebony version in the Google Play store, side-by-side like the keys on my piano keyboard. It's available first in Hong Kong and will go on sale across the world in coming weeks.
Meanwhile in an interview with Dutch blog All About Phones, an LG boss reveals that "The Nexus 4 was a great success despite the production problems for us and Google. However we do not need such a marketing success again." Ooh, burn!
The Nexus 4 -- flagship for the latest version of Jelly Bean -- was plagued by stock problems in its early days that reflected badly on both LG and Google. The bargain price of the Jelly Bean phone meant demand far outstripped supply and squeezed the amount of money LG could make on each phone -- so I wouldn't be at all surprised if LG felt it wasn't worth the bother making another one.
On top of that, anyone buying a Nexus phone isn't buying another Android, effectively putting Google into fierce competition with its own partners. Doubtless LG, Samsung et al have been none too happy being undercut by the company to which they're already channeling app and game profits via Google Play.
Hence the recent Google Edition of the Samsung Galaxy S4: a phone for anyone who wants Nexus-style unadulterated Android software, without taking money out of Samsung's pocket. With rumours of a stock Android version of the HTC One growing, it seems that the days of the Nexus device may be numbered in favour of devices built by partners.
In the meantime, the Nexus 4 costs £240 for the 8GB model or £280 for the 16GB version.
Is LG right to want to ditch the Nexus? Do you think Google Editions should replace the super-affordable Nexus line?