The Nexus 4, the flagship smartphone from Google that is produced by LG, has finally launched in Korea today, where it is available to buy via the Google Play store.
The 4.7-inch device, which runs Android (4.2) Jelly Bean, is priced at 399,000 won ($350) for the 8GB model, and 459,000 won ($405) for the 16GB model. The device was released to consumers in the US and Europe in November 2012, so it has taken a long time to ‘come home’ to Korea. There’s no official comment as to why its arrival is so delayed, but supply issues have dogged the phone’s availability worldwide.
The device was tipped to arrive in Korea in April which would have been significant as it would have beaten the Samsung Galaxy S4 to market. However, Samsung’s newest phone launched first — clocking up an impressive 10 million shipments worldwide within one month — and it remains to be seen whether the Galaxy S4 will overshadow the Nexus 4 in Korea.
LG is the country’s second largest seller of smartphones, behind Samsung, with Pantech sitting in third. Samsung actually bought a 10 stake in Pantech for $48 million earlier this month, although the company says it will have no input into the management of its smaller rival.
This week has been an interesting one for LG and the Nexus series. The company announced plans to release a white version of the device — which launched in Hong Kong yesterday and will roll out worldwide next month — but, more controversially, an executive admitted that the company is not currently working on a Nexus 5 model; feeding in to speculation that Samsung (which produces the Nexus 10) could take over the production of future Nexus devices.
Won Kim, VP of LG Mobile in Europe, reportedly told All About Phones: ”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… This has no added value for us without our own skins.”
However, an LG representative claimed Won had been misquoted and that the company would be open to working with Google again.
“What Mr. Won Kim said is that we are not currently working on a Nexus 5, which is true. But that doesn’t mean we would turn down the opportunity,” the company clarified.
The release of the Nexus 4 comes hot on the heels of Google’s first tablet, the Nexus 7, which went on sale to Korean consumers at the beginning of April.