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Google Nexus 4 sells out within an hour in US, UK

Google says the LG-built Nexus 4 smartphone has sold out. Our advice? Take it with a grain of salt. 

By Matthew Shaer / November 14, 2012

The Google Nexus 4, a smartphone built by LG and powered by the latest iteration of the Google Android operating system, sold out quickly in the US and the UK.

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On Tuesday, Nov. 13, Google began selling its LG-built Nexus 4 smart phone. And on Tuesday, Nov. 13, Google sold out of all its Nexus 4 stock. 

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According to reports from the UK, the 8 GB Nexus 4 disappeared from digital shelves within 15 minutes of launch (Google is selling the device through its Google Play store, and not in brick and mortar outlets). Meanwhile, in the US, consumers apparently ran through the entire Nexus 4 supply – the 8 GB and 16 GB models – in an hour.

In a statement obtained by Business Insider, Google said more phones were on the way. 

"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," Google reps wrote. "We are working hard to add more Nexus devices to Google Play in the coming weeks to keep up with the high demand." 

It's worth noting, of course, that Google has not revealed exactly how many Nexus 4 smartphones it had on hand.

It could be a big number, but it could be a relatively small number. And is there anything better for a product than to declare the thing sold out, as a result of "high demand"? Google, in this regard, may be taking some notes from Apple, which made sure to tout the fact that it sold out of its initial run of iPhone 5s, even as sales fell short of many analyst predictions for the new Apple smartphone.

So yes, we reserve the right to remain skeptical about Google's claims. We have no doubt that it sold out. But how many did it sell? 

At the same time, it's hard to deny that the Nexus 4 is a beautiful, powerful phone – a worthy rival to the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III, the two devices that dominate the smart phone market today. The Nexus 4 sells for $299 for an 8 GB model and $349 for a 16 GB model; the device ships unlocked, so consumers can choose their carrier and plans independently. 

"What once was a smartphone series designed for developers has been decked out with top-notch features and priced so attractively that consumers will take notice of it; there's nothing comparable that comes close to it in that price range," Brad Molen of Engadget wrote in a rave review of the device. "This is a smartphone that we'd normally expect to be much more expensive unlocked, but Google set a precedent by lowering the cost of the Galaxy Nexus, keeping the Nexus 7 [tablet] at $200 and is now continuing the trend with the Nexus 4. The price of freedom has never been more reasonable." 

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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