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Google’s Director of Business Strategy for Android Calls $299 Nexus 4 “Revolutionary”

For Google, offering today’s top technologies in a package that is affordable for all is their number one goal, made clear by their Director of Business Strategy for Android. John Lagerling, the man pictured above, was recently interviewed by The New York Times, and shed plenty of light on their ideas behind the Nexus lineup, Google’s work with Motorola, and working with their partners to create revolutionary devices for prices that crush the competition’s. 

When asked how they went about lowering the price of their devices from what people are used to seeing, Lagerling offered up an easy answer:

“Basically we felt that we wanted to prove you don’t have to charge $600 to deliver a phone that has the latest-generation technologies. Simply that level of margin is sometimes even unreasonable, and we believed that we could do this. Between us and our partners we have a very good understanding of supply chains. We’ve all done the best we can to really reach these prices — $399, $299 is pretty amazing, if I may say so.”

The interviewer didn’t shy away from asking about Google’s intentions with Motorola, which was met with a quick, “The way I understand it is, it’s mostly about the patents, the way you can sort of disarm this huge attack against Android.” Although, he did point out that Motorola doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye on Google’s idea of competitive pricing for consumers. Manufacturers, Motorola included, want to keep pricing high so carriers can subsidize devices highly, which means larger profit margins. You can’t blame them, but Google has much different plans.

We simply believe there’s a better way of doing it without extracting that much payment from end users, because there are other ways to drive revenues. Patents were used as a weapon to try to stop that evolution and scare people away from lower-cost alternatives. And I think with the Motorola acquisition we’ve shown we’re able to put skin in the game and push back.

To read the full interview, which I would recommend, then follow the via down below. You have to admit, a $299 Nexus 4 is incredibly awesome, even without LTE.

Via: Bits

Cheers Thanassi!

  • kidheated

    That’s great googs, just don’t skimp on the goods and give your loyal customers what they want in their devices, namely top of the line spec across the board, no back peddling, on anything… and stop forcing cloud storage on people.

  • Joel Gautraud

    Dolph? Is that you?

  • First Prime

    I’m going to say this because it needs to be said, the guy in the picture looks like a James Bond villain.

  • Josh Fischer

    I wish I could upgrade my wifes Thunderbolt on verizon to the Nexus 4. We don’t have 4G here yet, and won’t for the near future, plus she wouldn’t utilize it much. Has there been a definitive NO as far as future releases of a CDMA Nexus 4? I know Verizon would fight tooth and nail to keep it off their network anyways.

    • Nathan

      There hasn’t been a definitive no. I wish they would just come out and say yay or nay to Verizon though!

      Mobile Panda, someone from Twitter who has been pretty reliable in the past hinted that Verizon may get the Nexus in January.. We’ll see. I plan to wait it out until Christmas because by then, if there’s no leaks, it’s not happening.

  • Guy looks like a complete jack ass.

  • JoeInMO

    I couldn’t disagree more… revolutionary??? It’s a major step backward. Very limited storage, no external storage, no removable battery, and no 4G LTE (on any carrier).

  • bananatroll

    The only gain they’ve really made is the elimination of LTE. We all know LTE has proved to be a pain in the ass on CDMA devices, due to the requirement to switch between CDMA>GSM frequencies over and over again whenever one goes out of 4G and back into 2g or 3g.

    It sucks!

    But that aside, the rest of the phone is impressively sad. Yet another cheap/third-party OEM, bad radios again, GSM only, 16gb max storage, and poor quality build materials and construction.


  • FortitudineVincimus

    They cal it “revolutionary” and I call it “getting close”

    • sirmeili

      So you’re happy with them not doing it and us continuing on the same model we have now? It is revolutionary even if it is the path we should have been on the whole time. In today’s age, it’s quite revolutionary to see a business put the consumer above profits (though don’t get me wrong, I know Google aims to make lots of money off the stats gained from these devices).

  • Prox

    I left Verizon for T-Mobile Bring Your Own Device plans. Greatest decision since buying my first Motorola Star-Tac with a regional plan from Verizon over 9 years ago. I don’t miss Verizon or the expense. HSPA+ is awesome.

  • flosserelli

    I wish people would stop using the term “revolutionary” to describe new phones. Apple has abused that term enough.

  • Just Sayin’

    I think would be pretty cool if Verizon had it. Especially for people who like to switch out their phones or don’t wanna loose their unlimited data plan from updating. And it’s half the price. For me 4g isn’t that big of a deal. I’m more of an internet browsing, Email checker kinda guy. Not the streamer type.

    • Just Sayin’


  • thartist

    Dolph Lundgren!

  • Jim McClain

    no 4g lte is enough to kill this baby

  • Jimbo

    eh eh eh eh he said revolutionary… Reminds me of a character from an old MTV cartoon.

  • zulu208

    finally! I can upgrade my parents to the LG nexus 4 w/ 8gb. retired their cracked iphone 3 and wp7.5. hopefully it doesn’t sell out on nov 13th!

  • rodney11ride

    i think it all depends on the coverage of the wireless your using and speed of the data. I sat here months and posted that 3g was fine. now that 4g is strong up and down Cali i dont want to go back. Ill pay 499 if they would have put the lte in it. 3g speeds SUCK. only if your coming down from 4g for about 6 months now. doesnt even compare. this is a high end processor pushing 3g speeds a a middle of the road phone and pricing. the 8gb and 16gb doesnt bother me if it has 4g lte to push all the cloud data ill be transferring….

  • Benjamin Sicard

    I kinda feel comforted by the fact that a blond Andrew Luck is at the helm of Google’s business strategy.

    Oh, that, and the fact that I live my life by the Cost to Worth ratio and the business strategy Google assumed starting with the Nexus 7 is exactly what I’m looking for.

  • carlisimo

    I’m a little bit skeptical about a world where the hardware industry is ad-driven. I have to admit that might not be a rational feeling, but I like the idea of paying a manufacturer for their goods and being free from obligations after that. To date ad-supported things haven’t been too bad, but that could change if ads were a greater proportion of everyone’s revenues.

  • TheRobotCow

    I bought my galaxy nexus for Verizon for $800, I had gotten my mom a galaxy nexus for $400 from google. Pricing the new nexus starting at $299 is pure genius. Not to mention that this is without a contract and for top of the line specs.

  • Havoc70

    Now if Google would only get into the Wireless business all would be well

    • Prox

      Someone needs to convince them to buy T-Mobile.

  • ddh819

    what would be revolutionary would be enable MMS on google voice messaging and letting me get a data only plan

    • JoshGroff

      Do any carriers sell data only plans?

      • duh

        Yes, all of them.

  • I’m on T-Mobile. Should I ditch my GSIII for the Nexus 4? My prime motivation is battery life…thanks!

    • Gr8Ray

      The “Performance preview” on AnandTech showed the GS3 getting marginally better battery life.

  • sporty

    About time someone is on the side of the consumers! Thank you Google!! There’s no excuse other than raping the consumer that a phone should cost $600! Heck I can get a tablet or a laptop for that! Keep up the good work, Google!! Fight the good fight! Bring those prices down! God knows very very very few companies even think to inch costs down at all much less do what Google is doing and they deserve commendation for it. We need more Googles out there and less Motorola’s. We sure could use a Google with gas pricing!!!!!

  • Joe Thomas

    Am I the only one thinking Beavis and Butt-Head when I look at his picture???

  • triangle8

    This is the best deal in town if you’re on prepaid. Unbelievable hardware at a great price and no contract. Would be seriously tempted if I weren’t under contract for multiple lines.

  • sirmeili

    I’m liking this idea. Lower the cost of the phone over all and give me non-subsidized pricing. Basically, let’s get rid of contracts (Which were added to cover the cost of subsidies).

    • JoshGroff

      And thus lower the price of phone plans. *crosses fingers*

      • sirmeili

        I wish, but I’m sure they’ll find a “reason” for not lowering the price. I already think that after your contract (and after the subsidy is paid for), they should drop the price as is, but they don’t.

        • vitriolix

          Well, right now if you take your own phone to a prepaid plan you will save upwards of $30 / month. buying an unlocked phone is cheaper, not even considering how cheap the N4 really is.

          If the N4 does nothing else than change the public perception of the value of subsidized phones, it is a huge success.

        • JoshGroff

          T-Mobile is the only carrier as far as I know that charges you a lower price if you bring your own phone. Would like to see the rest implement that.

          • sirmeili

            Yup, when my Verizon contract is up, it is likely I may go there.

          • noblemo

            AT&T Value Package is $20/month less than its Classic (subsidy) plans. No benefit on Verizon; not sure about Sprint.

      • ddh819

        right, i know 300 is cheap for non-subsidized, but its not like i get a discount on the monthly service fee from my current provider, it just lets me shop around for service

    • scrub175

      And hopefully help in retaining the grandfathered unlimited data plans, which the carriers want to totally erase.

    • Jose

      Then new phones will be free on contract.

      • sirmeili

        I would rather not have a contract and own my device and be able to take it from carrier to carrier if I choose (like they do it in Europe I believe). I’m also sick of them charging me more for “subsidies” for a phone and after the contract is over, they keep the price the same. It would be different if after the contract your price lowered to account for the fact that you’re not paying for the subsidy anymore.

  • Joshua Colon

    Honestly, I barely have LTE turned on for my GNex, so if it was available as a 3G only device on Verizon I would have no hesitation. My battery lasts SO much longer without 4G. I just really hope they include SOME kind of alternative for us CDMA users.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Whatever…it has 8GB and No LTE radio… and no expansion… there’s no reason it shouldn’t be this price.

    • JoshGroff

      The 16GB model has better specs all around than the GSM G-Nex and is $50 cheaper than the G-nex was originally being sold for… Please think before posting.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        What does that tell you about the ridiculous pricing of off contract phones? They are all overpriced. Please lean off my sack.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Time to get your facts straight. Especially considering Google has them posted right on the Google Play site.

    • vitriolix

      It has one of the best SOCs on the market, double the RAM of man of its competitors and perhaps the best screen on the market… at $299 this thing is insanely well priced

  • zUFC

    Nooooooo, I don’t want them to start cutting corners to get the phones cheaper. I actually want more expensive/better phones. Everyone agrees that nexus is lack luster in the spec department (especially the storage). What is wrong with google lately? I hate to say it but I hope no one follows suit.

  • Heather

    If the Nexus 4 had 32 GB of internal storage, it would be mine.

    • JoshGroff

      I’m with you on that one, 16GB is fine for a tablet, but not for a phone. (at least for me) Although, unlimited data with T-Mobile and streaming my music may change my mind.

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        Until you sit on a plane or travel with no music, no pics, and no movies because between Grand Theft Auto and Modern Combat, you are out of space.

        • JoshGroff

          You can store a few hundred songs on the device for offline use and still have room for a few games. (only 1-2 of the larger ones, but that’s what the tablet’s for, the phone is ~8-10GB of music and small games like wind-up knight or angry birds space)

  • HTC1

    I don’t want them to start cheapening phones down now. I actually want better more expnsive ones. Everyone agrees that nexus has lack-luster specs (especially in the storage department). I hate to say this but I hope no one follows suit.

    • JoshGroff

      The vast majority of people want cheap phones, why do you think the subsidized model exists, besides to trick people into a contract?

    • Daniel Rosseau

      Are you crazy? The only lackluster specs are storage (use the cloud) and no LTE. I think we’re at a point people want LTE just to have it. Is 5-7mbps not fast enough? What are you doing that you need 25mbps? Yes I would like to have the faster speeds but it’s far from a deal breaker for me!

      • JoshGroff

        I know right, I get faster speeds with my home internet… I’d gladly take HSPA+ for on the go navigation and web browsing.

      • Gr8Ray

        Unfortunately, in my area at least, I barely get 5mbps with LTE, and on 3g it’s barely above dialup speeds. This is on Verizon though.

    • Nicholas Vettese

      I use Google Drive, Evernote, and Google Music. All of which add only the size of the App to my phone. Honestly, you can make music offline if you will be in an area where you cannot use the towers. 16G may be a little short, but if you are using the technology, you have enough space.

  • Mack

    Honestly, I would buy the 16GB Nexus 4 if it was on Verizon in a heartbeat even if it was LTE only to avoid nexus/cdma issues.

    • JoshGroff

      In which case you would have only Google Voice and Skype for calls since VZW doesn’t have VoLTE capabilities yet. (as far as I remember)

      • I believe VoLTE is testing all this year with some implementation late 2013. Just in time for the Nexus?

        • JoshGroff

          Maybe then the next Nexus won’t have to wait on Verizon for updates. I’m looking forward to the first LTE only phones.

          • Mack

            Same. The way I see it, LTE will become what GSM is now in the sense that unlocked phones can work on multiple networks and unlike CDMA it will not hold back or control software and updates. Verizon’s LTE is open like GSM is but the fact that all Verizon phones still have to have CDMA radios means that big red can still dictate what software makes it onto the devices on their network.

        • Kevin Bojarski

          And with worse battery life than then Galaxy Nexus

          • the Nexus 4 does or voLTE? I wasn’t aware there were battery tests on either yet, but I would imagine the Nexus 4 with only 1 modem, or a Nexus with voLTE (also one modem, eliminating CDMA) would be much bettery at battery life than the Galaxy Nexus which needs an LTE modem and CDMA modem. But if you have a reason or tests to prove I’m incorrect, I apologize, I didn’t know there were

          • Kevin Bojarski

            i was just think about how poor the first LTE devices were in terms of battery life, so I would assume the early voLTE would have the same issues. But I am more or less just being a cynic.

          • Brian Barcus

            The lousy battery life was not specific to LTE. It was (is) caused by powering another antenna and handling the processing for an additional I/O path. An LTE-only device should have better battery life than any current smart phones.

        • Mack

          This is what I’m betting on. Picking up a Galaxy Nexus this weekend to use for the next year in hopes that the 2013 Nexus can ride on Verizon LTE only.

      • Mack

        I don call too much so I would be fine with G-Voice.

  • DJyoSNO

    I’m cringing and wondering if gsm service is not all that bad? Since Don’t talk Mich on the device…

    • JoshGroff

      Freedom vs data speeds. If you don’t need heavy data speeds on the go, it’s perfectly suitable.

  • Droid Burgundy

    Revolutionary would be actually making a smartphone here in the USA.

    • sirmeili

      Since LG isn’t an american company, I wouldn’t expect this. Maybe when/if the Nexus is made by Motorola (the only US phone manufacturer I can think of right now besides apple), you could ask for this. Of course expect to pay more (about $50-100 more per device) just for that luxury. I’m not saying it’s worth it, but it would be nice to have a USA made phone (I often try to buy USA when I can, but its getting harder and harder these days).

      • Jarred Sutherland

        Honestly I don’t think you can consider Apple a manufacturer. They don’t actually make any hardware, they design it and farm out the work to the person who offers the lowest price.

        • sirmeili

          That can be said of ANY manufacturer today. So are Dell and HP not hardware manufacturers because they farm out their manufacturing? I’m sure LG, Sony, Samsung, etc, all farm out the majority of their manufacturing. Even Samsung who produces some of their own parts basically buy the parts from themselves (the 2 parts of the company are operated separate from each other).

          • Jarred Sutherland

            No actually it can’t. To manufacture means : The making of articles on a large scale using machinery: “the manufacture of autos”.

            Ford, is a manufacturer because they MAKE the product themselves. A person that does not physically build the product is a designer. They design and spec, and someone else manufacturers the tangible product.

          • sirmeili

            I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. I think in the context of this discussion when one says “manufacturer” they are referring to the parent company, not the company that physically put it together (I.E. Apple over Foxcom).

            In this line of conversation, people often refer to the “designer” as you put it, as the “manufacturer” of that product. Basically they outsource the actual manufacturing of it, much like they might outsource the Support (yet, non would argue that the support is coming from that company, even if it is outsourced).

          • Tyler

            And Ford assembles cars with parts made by dozens of suppliers…

      • Dr_Buttballs

        Apple + Motorola = American companies with Chinese made products.

        • sirmeili

          Not disagreeing with you one bit, but of all the manufacturers out there, those are the only 2 I could honestly expect to consider an US made product. Why would anyone from the US expect a company from another country to make their product here? Would it be nice for us, sure, but not likely.

          • Dr_Buttballs

            It works for Toyota and Subaru. I know you can’t really compare car manufactures to phone manufactures but still. I don’t expect any foreign company to start making products in the U.S. though it would be a nice change.

          • sirmeili

            Yes, because we make it cheaper for them to do it that way. Its cheaper for non US based car companies to manufacture cars in the US than to build them elsewhere and import them.

            That’s why some US manufacturer cars are build out of the US (Canada and Mexico), because we have deals with those countries (NAFTA) that removes those deterrents for US based companies.

            *BTW, interesting side note, Any product manufactured in Canada can be labelled as “Made in the U.S.A.”. How’s that for deceptive advertising!

          • Dr_Buttballs

            I figured there would be a reasoning behind it, just didn’t know why. But now I do!

          • sirmeili

            Yup, you’ll even find that some companies actually manufacture the parts for the US variants here. I know for a while (and they may still do this), BMW manufactured, I believe, the transmissions for one of their vehicles in New York state. It’s why I don’t feel bad buying a “foreign” car in the US, Sure the profits go to a company outside the US, but the jobs go to US workers, which I feel is a fair trade off (note: I happen to own 2 Pontiacs and 1 Toyota currently. The Toyota and 1 of the Pontiacs I know for sure being manufactured in the US.)

          • jahsoul

            I was just about to comment on this. Because of all of the regulations and taxes the US places on companies, we would be paying more for the same product if it was built in the US.

            Revolutionary would be practicing a truly free market. But I digress; this is an Android site. $299 for an unsubsidized phone is awesome. If I didn’t pay almost nothing for my unlimited data, I would go back to T-Mobile. Ironically, I left T-Mobile because Verizon had a promotion taking $20 off unlimited data and that, coupled with corporate discounts made it cheaper than my plan with T-Mobile.

          • deltatux

            Ummm…. Toyota has many plants in the States and Canada… most North American models aren’t imported from Japan or other countries.

          • Dr_Buttballs

            Yeah, I know. That was my point.

        • seth

          TIL that Motorola is American. I honestly thought they were based in Japan. Man, I feel like an Idiot. Own A DX and D4…

      • TomStieger

        FYI Motorola’s phones are manufactured in china like every one else.

        • sirmeili

          And where exactly did I say they weren’t? All I said was that the only Android manufacturers that I could expect to make a US phone are those based in the USA. I know Motorola phones are made in China, but they are far more likely to make a US manufactured phone over LG, Sony, Samsung, HTC, etc.

          No offense, but maybe you need to work on your reading comprehension skills.

          • MicroNix

            Maybe you should work on your writing skills:

            ” I’m not saying it’s worth it, but it would be nice to have a USA made phone”

            Motorola phones are not USA made phones. They are designed in the USA but are NOT MADE IN THE USA.

            No offense, but you really shouldn’t try to put someone down because they read your statement correctly.

      • Apple an American company? Yes, it has its headquarters in America but all of its funds are funneled through other countries. For the most part they pay less than 7% tax on ALL of their earnings. But remember Corporations are people and who wouldn’t want to pay one straight 7% tax (instead of sales tax + property tax + income tax + etc…) Sorry off topic. I would buy the Nexus 4 if it was on Verizon though i am in love with their LTE (faster than my work internet).

  • Micah Reese

    “You have to admit, a $299 Nexus 4 is incredibly awesome, even without LTE.”
    Ummm…no I don’t. Why would I downgrade my hardware for a minor upgrade in software that I’ll get anyway?

    • Daniel Rosseau

      Then don’t do it! What exactly are you downgrading? If you’re coming from the Galaxy Nexus, nothing. If you’re coming from the S3 or something like that, you MIGHT get the update by the time you’re done with your phone. Plus, in a lot of places you can pull down 5-7megs on HSPA+. That’s more than enough to stream music, watch videos, or video chat. What else do you do?!

      • Jarred Sutherland

        And with LTE + Verizon’s caps they will force everyone into, now you can just chew up that 2GB in record speeds!

    • Dr_Buttballs

      Downgrade in hardware? Really? The only downgrade is the lack of LTE. Other than that the Nexus 4’s hardware is a major upgrade from previous versions. Go and try to find a phone with the same specs off contract for that price.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      So, tell me one reason you need LTE vs HSPA. I understand being on Verizon’s services the desire for LTE, but LTE vs HSPA/HSPA+ isn’t anywhere near as big of a gap. Remember, once Verizon loads down its LTE service with users and refuses to add backhaul because it’s expensive, LTE will slow just like everything else does.

      • BGRUGGER

        for me…LTE is in my area and HSPA+ is not. Coverage is my issue.

        • Raven

          Exactly, in my area Verizon with LTE is not just the best choice, it is the only choice.

          • Jarred Sutherland

            So you have zero service with any other carrier?

          • FSFer

            In many spots, yes. Att is marginal, and tmobile and sprint barely exist. Life in the boondocks.

    • Prox

      LTE is great, but you have never experienced HSPA+ have you?

  • Michael_NM

    Revolutionary price. Retro radios. That’s not a strategy I would pursue.

    • sirmeili

      I guess when you live in an area with only 3g (and AT&T has said that 3G won’t ever be here, so good luck with their 4G), and it’s not so bad. I understand for the majority it might be an issue, but for some of us, it’s not (I never use my Gnex’s 4g because we just don’t have it here).

    • Jarred Sutherland

      Taking out your butt, not the strategy I would pursue.

      • Michael_NM

        I’m happy to hear that, I doubt my butt would go out with you anyway. 🙂

        • Jarred Sutherland

          I think you need to read up on HSPA+ and LTE. They run parallel, neither are retro.

    • Retro radios? Oh stop! Please!

    • Prox

      HSPA+ is not retro speeds are fantastic.

  • Finire

    With VZWs 3g on this, I might actually give up my 4g Rezound.

  • JoshGroff

    I’d gladly pay $600+ for a top tier Motorola Nexus. 🙂

    • TheRobotCow

      The razr hd developer edition

      • JoshGroff

        Not quite the same. It’s like the Xoom LTE, unlockable but updates still have to come from Motorola and VZW.

  • 2 words: Not even

  • Greyhame

    If it had VZW’s bands, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

    • Michael Quinlan

      Even if it would technically work, Verizon would never activate a device they didn’t sell.

      • Greyhame

        Actually, I believe they are obligated to by law. I might be wrong, but I remember reading that here.

  • This is not revolutionary. You have ignored more than half of US smartphone buyers. Google is living in a dream world.

    • JoshGroff

      As they say, ignorance is bliss. Also, they’re trying to pull us away from the current market set up where carriers own you, and know that’s hard to do when you’re selling a $600 device without subsidies.

    • The pricing is the revolutionary aspect.

      Obviously the phone is fairly iterative over past Nexus/LG models and there will always be features that some people want that it doesn’t have.

      The fact that they’re offering a brand new phone with (at least near) top of the line specs for $300 off contract is a pretty big contrast from the other phones that you pay $300 for on contract…

      • Philip A. Kaiser

        I agree. Take a look at Google Fiber when you get a chance. Only in one city right now, but they will own the entire market when they spread out. Their lowest data plan for Google fiber is FREE!!!! Pay a $300 installation fee and they will provide you with free unlimited high speed data for life. Google is looking beyond the traditional providers and carriers, they aren’t looking to dominate, they are looking to taking over!

        • Wow kool thanks for the info! I checked it out and it looks like a good idea hope GF gets more legs and spreads throughout the country!

    • UncleFan

      Actually, it would be selling a $600 “high end” Nexus that would be ignoring more than half of US smartphone buyers. Most Android buyers, even in the US, are NOT getting expensive halo phones, not when Walmart is selling boatloads of prepaid Androids in blister packs!

    • Jigga_Z

      Verizon and Sprint are a small price to pay for being able to make one phone that the rest of the world on GSM can use. At $300 or $350, it may not be right for you, but for the rest of the world, it makes perfect sense.

    • Jarred Sutherland

      The US isn’t the center of the world. This is a world device. The US has a population a little over 300 million, the rest of the world is a bit larger than that.

      • Yep

        And outside of Europe and specific areas of Asia, none of them have the friggin purchasing power that the US does as whole. Most live on a dollar a day or less.

        So yes, for something such as this, the US IS the center of the world. Argument fail for you.

  • AJ

    how about that picture

    • beavbut

      Kind of like Beavis and ######### , We’ll see how long it takes before this comment is sensored out again…

      • summit1986

        I am Cornholio! I need TP for my bunghole.

        • I thought he looked more like a decendant of Gary Busey.