Spanish mobile phone retailer Phone House has announced on its Facebook page that it is suspending plans to sell Google’s new Nexus 4 after it learned that manufacturer LG is to sell the phone at a far higher price than Google is offering directly.
Google is currently advertising the new handset as being available on 13 November at price points of €299 for the 8GB model and €349 for the 16GB model. However a statement on Phone House Spain’s Facebook page says that the company has discovered that LG will be offering it to them with a recommended retail price of €599. Although the retailer doesn’t say which model it’s referring to, the price isn’t exactly competitive when compared with buying direct via Google Play, amounting to a €250 to €300 price hike.
The sentiment is echoed in Italy, where angry would-be customers are taking to the LG Mobile Facebook page to protest against the huge disparity in pricing. The problem is more acute for Italian customers, as unlike Spain, Google has not yet announced plans to sell the Nexus 4 directly there. (Update: As Holger Eilhard tells us, the same problem is apparent in Austria too, with the 16GB model being the only one available, at €549).
The Nexus 4 has been well received in the first crop of reviews published yesterday, not least in our own review. However, with the absence of LTE support, its incredibly competitive price for a high-end smartphone is one of its most important selling points. If LG is taking that benefit away, it will reflect poorly both on itself and Google.
We’ve contacted LG for comment and will update when we hear back. It’s worth noting that Phone House Spain’s UK counterpart, Carphone Warehouse is still offering the Nexus 4 on contract at a range of pricepoints from free to £219. It doesn’t offer a SIM-free, full-price option though.
Thanks to Flavio for the tip off.