Nexus 4 Korea launch undermined by carriers’ demands

The latest Google Nexus handset, the LG made Nexus 4 was announced by Google yesterday, and is expected to hit retail stores across the globe come mid-November. However, it appears that it might not be made available in LG’s home-market, South Korea of all places.

As you are already aware, Nexus devices are manufactured to Google’s specifications, and even the carrier- based variants have to be compliant with Google’s guidelines on hardware as well as software. While the last 2 Nexus smartphones, again by a Korean manufacturer, Samsung Nexus S and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus were made available in Korea upon release, Blue Ringer Men reports that South Korean carriers were requesting for certain specific features for their variants of the Nexus 4 which Google was not agreeable towards. HIgh demand for LTE capability in the Korean market, is likely to be one of the main reasons for Google’s disagreement, although it may not be the only one.

With the Korean market not getting a taste of the Nexus 4, probably due to LTE concerns, Japan is another market which could be at risk of missing out on the latest Nexus handset due to the same reason, as Japanese carriers are also known to demand a high degree of carrier-specific customization from OEMs. But at least Japan still gets a bunch of really cool handsets from top manufacturers which do not see the light of the rest of the world, so it might not matter much to them.

It seems that some carriers do not seem to understand the basic premise of a flagship Nexus phone without any externally-dependent hardware or software limitations. The Nexus brand is a prime example of what Android as an Open OS stands for, and Google is likely to  protect the brand despite the lure of a huge market. Or do you think Google should be a bit more flexible with its closed stand on Nexus products?


  1. Its time the carriers understood their place. I trust google at the end of the day and I think the Nexus can change the US for the better.

  2. Why does this matter? LG’s flagship device is the Optimus G

    Nexus 4 is a Google flagship device . The S Korean and Japanese markets usually don’t like Nexus devices as they are very nationalistic to home brands like Sharp,Sony and Toshiba for Japen and Samsung and LG for South Korea.

    1. I’m guessing someone has never been to Japan. Based on my observations somewhere around 30-40% of all people over 20 have an iPhone. Although that might be just me or the people around me, but you do see an enormous amount of iPhones in Japan.

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