Earlier this month, Google announced the all new Nexus 6. Later, it confirmed a Nexus 6 pre-order date for October 29th. Today, Nexus 6 pre-orders went live only to vanish minutes later leaving many consumers without a phone. We’re still not sure what’s going on over there at Google but today’s Nexus 6 pre-orders, if you can call them that, were a complete joke and a slap in the face to people who have been loyal to the Nexus brand for years. I’m one of those people.
For the last couple of months I, like many of you, heard rumors about the Nexus 6 from Motorola. As an iOS and Android user and someone who has owned every single Nexus smartphone not called Nexus S, I was pretty excited when Google confirmed those rumors earlier this month. I was elated when I learned the device would be coming from Motorola, a company that I’ve always liked and a company I always wished would make a Nexus device.
The Nexus 6, while big, comes with a ton of likeable features. Water resistant design, check. Massive Quad HD display, check. Speedy processor for games and multitasking, check. Gorgeous Moto X inspired design, check. Tons of carriers in the U.S., check. LTE, check. Lots of storage space, check. Vanilla Android 5.0 Lollipop, check.
So when Google announced Nexus 6 pre-orders for October 29th, I got excited but not as excited as I probably should have been. You see, I’ve been through this process before.
Two years ago, Google announced the Nexus 4, a device with a ton of likeable features, a stellar price tag, and a pre-order date. And when that pre-order date came around, I hopped online to try and order one and Google sold out. And then it sold out again. And again. It didn’t have Nexus 4 stock back until February and at that point, I was over it. It was an extremely frustrating situation, not just for me, but for many other Nexus users out there.
Needless to say, I was extremely nervous about last year’s Nexus 5 release. Google decided to cut out the nonsense though. Instead of offering a pre-order, Google simply put the Nexus 5 on sale. And I bought one, day one, like many other people, without any problems. To this day, the Nexus 5 remains one of my favorite phones and I look back fondly on the ordering experience. Still, I’ve been unable to shake what happened with the Nexus 4 and memories started to flood back in after Google’s Nexus 6 pre-order announcement.
That’s when the internal questions started rolling in: “There’s no way they could muck up another pre-order, not after what happened with the Nexus 4.” And “It’s a 6-inch phone and expensive at that. Google should be able to handle demand.” I also thought about the turmoil that’s supposedly been going on behind the scenes. And I thought about the million other phones I could buy with the money I’d be spending on a 32GB Nexus 6. And still, I was focused on today’s pre-order date. No way Google would let Nexus enthusiasts and buyers down again. Boy, was I wrong.
Today, the Nexus 6 went up for pre-order on the Google Play Store for a grand total of five minutes by my count. No warning, no announcements, no broadcasts from the Nexus Twitter account, no excitement from Sundar Pichai or any other Android leaders, nothing. I, like many of you, had no idea that pre-orders had even started. And by the time I tried to go order, it was too late. Sold out, gone. Nexus 4 all over again.
There are terrible smartphone pre-orders and then there’s Nexus 6 pre-orders. If this isn’t the worst smartphone pre-order of all time, it’s got to be pretty darn close. And with that in mind, let’s run down the list of follies:
- Google never announced any sort of pre-order time so no one had any idea when to pre-order the Nexus 6.
- Google put the Nexus 6 up for pre-order without telling any of its customers.
- Google sold out of Nexus 6 pre-orders in minutes maybe even seconds, who knows.
- Shipping times are at three to four weeks for those that did get through. Oh, let’s not forget that the Nexus 6 doesn’t even have a confirmed release date. Anywhere.
- The company hasn’t done or said anything to make it right. I can’t be the only one complaining about this, can I? Is it having production problems? If that’s the case, why not delay the pre-orders? Why push forth this half-baked excuse for a pre-order process? Why not take five minutes to explain the situation to customers looking to buy the phone?
That last bit, at least to me, is the most astonishing. Google’s said nothing. Silence, zilch, nada. Maybe pre-orders are coming back, maybe not. Who knows! That’s great business. Apple apologized for a software bug. A bug that lasted less than 24 hours. This Nexus 6 pre-order nonsense could last weeks and Google’s silent. I don’t get it. And maybe Google doesn’t either. Maybe it doesn’t care about Nexus users. Maybe it never did. If that’s the case, stop wasting everyone’s time.
Today’s Nexus 6 pre-orders were a complete farce and I’m sure that the fun is far from over. I can tell you one thing though, I’m not playing Google’s games anymore. They just lost a customer and a long time Nexus user today. There are plenty of other phones out there with near vanilla software that’s less buggy than Nexus software. Phones out there that are just as cheap. Phones that are actually available when I go to buy them. And companies that treat their customers right.