Nexus 4 still tricky to get hands on

Nexus 4 phone LG (LG)

Nexus 4 phone LG (LG)

Relaxnews

, Last Updated: 6:50 PM ET

LG has admitted it has been taken by surprise by the popularity of its first Google-branded Android smartphone, the LG Nexus 4. The handset, which was officially released in November, sold out around the world within hours and since mid-November, potential owners have been facing up to a three-week wait in order to get their hands on one.

In an interview with CNET, Andy Coughlin, head of mobile for LG UK said that the phone had "proven extremely popular" and that LG was now "working closely with Google to ensure that those who wish to purchase a handset are able to do so."

The handset met with universal critical acclaim when it was released to reviewers, the only marks against it being that it didn't support an SD slot for memory expansion and that it wasn't 4G compatible, meaning that owners would be denied super-fast mobile internet speeds. However, neither of these issues have dented the handset's desirability.

And while LG may well have been taken by surprise by its popularity, the latest Android figures from Google, which were published on Tuesday, may help to shed some light on why the LG Nexus has been a hit.

Over the past month Google has seen a massive increase in traffic to its Google Play app store from devices running the latest Android 4.1 and 4.2 "Jelly Bean" mobile operating system. It now accounts for 6.7 percent of global users up from 2.7 percent in November. However, the same figures also show that the majority of users are still stuck on much earlier versions of the operating system. For some, this is because their smartphones or tablets are more than two years old, but for others it is simply because even when new, most Android smartphones don't arrive out of the box with the latest OS. Unless of course it's a Nexus phone. Nexus is the one guarantee in the Android world that a handset is running the latest, optimized version of the operating system and, just as importantly, that it will be the first to be updated to the next version of Android.

If further proof were needed that this guarantee is helping to drive sales were needed, the handset briefly became available on the Google Play sites in the UK and Germany again on Tuesday, only for the 8GB model sell out again within the day.


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