Sales kicked off via the Google Play Store at noon Pacific time, and the demand almost immediately brought Google's online store to its knees. Buyers complained of crashes, time-outs, and other problems when trying to place their orders for the Nexus 4.
At first, many people believed the Nexus 4 had sold out again. It hadn't. After a couple of hours, Google finally offered an alert that explained it was having trouble accepting all the orders. "Keep on trying" was the basic message. That's what many people did.
[ Google's Nexus smartphone boasts plenty of top specs, but support for LTE is conspicuously missing. Read more at Google Nexus 4: Why No LTE? ]
Based on an informal poll I took on Twitter, plenty of interested purchasers had trouble getting their orders through to Google's servers. One journalist I know gave up after 30 minutes of hitting refresh. Another actually used a script written by a friend to have his order placed automatically. It took a while to go through.
Despite the extraordinarily high demand, the Nexus 4 didn't sell out. But it's not really available, either.
According to the Google Play Store, the pricier ($349) 16GB version of the Nexus 4 ships in 4 to 5 weeks. Orders placed today might arrive before New Year's Eve.
If you want an 8GB model ($299), be prepared to wait much longer -- it doesn't ship for 8 to 9 weeks. Orders placed today won't arrive until late January or early February.
If the Nexus 4 debacle has made anything clear, it is that Google doesn't yet know how to successfully operate an online retail store. Apple's servers are inundated when its new products become available, but they generally recover after an hour. People I spoke to on Twitter complained about spending hours trying to place orders for the Nexus 4.
The Nexus 4 runs the newest version of Android, Jelly Bean. The software includes new features such as Photo Sphere, a traceable keyboard, security improvements, and many other features, The Nexus 4 has a 4.7-inch 1280 x 768 pixel display, an 8-megapixel camera, HSPA+, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and support for wireless inductive charging.
Time to patch your security policy to address people bringing their own mobile devices to work. Also in the new Holes In BYOD issue of Dark Reading: Metasploit creator HD Moore has five practical security tips for business travelers. (Free registration required.)