How does a high-end phone like the Nexus 4 end up costing $309/$359CDN for the 8GB/16GB models, respectively? Considering the upcoming stock Android device contains the same internal hardware as the LG Optimus G — minus the LTE, of course — it bears asking the question.
When the Nexus 4 goes on sale November 13th, it will be available in the U.S., U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain and Canada at those absurdly low prices. So what about users in, say, Italy who want to purchase the phone? It appears that LG is offering it to retailers in non-launch countries for nearly double the price, which in turn means consumers will also be paying upwards of 600 euros for the same phone.
It would seem obvious, then, that Google is subsidizing the Nexus 4 to some extent. Could it be that in order to seed the device into as many developers’ hands as possible, as well as customers who wouldn’t otherwise be looking for a non-LTE device, the company feels it needs to take a substantially smaller cut from the already razor-thin margins? Could be, but we’ll likely never know. Most high-end smartphones cost between $150 and $250 to manufacture, with marketing and distribution costs on top of that.
So Google is likely making little to no profit from each Nexus 4; rather, it’s using the device (in addition to the Nexus 7 and 10 tablets) to proliferate the stock Android experience, countering the often carrier-manipulated software on most Android-powered phones.
Regardless of the reason, Canadians stand to benefit from the most cheapest and most powerful unsubsidized Android smartphone on the market. Less than two weeks now!