Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cover Up?

Some of the more experienced software folks over on this Google code forum are beginning to openly question if Google is attempting to cover up a production problem with the new Nexus 4 phone.

As this poster speculates,

#669 jallen...@gmail.com
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if it's not just a production problem that's caused the delay, but if Google is stalling to get this fixed before releasing more devices out into the wild? I question everything at point. 

It can't be that difficult to fix. Figure out what changed between 4.1.2 and 4.2/4.2.1 with sleep option code, and get Qualcomm to fix the WiFi driver in the N4.  Either way stop trying to pin it on routers, diff the codebases, and fix it. 

I'm going to ping all the tech blogs about this. Google deserves all the bad press it should get about this and the way they've handled this.  My data usage is through the roof because I can't use WiFi. Not to mention my N7 is barely usable since it's Wi-Fi-only. 

We didn't pay hundreds of dollars for bricks, but that's basically what we have at this point. 

I would tend to agree; the time it has taken for Google to address this problem does not make sense.  Tracking the changes between 4.1.2 and the subsequent problematic releases should have led a competent sw team to the causes of the wifi problems within days, not months.  I can't imagine how even big, dysfunctional Google could have been sufficiently incompetent and indifferent to have allowed this to drag on for months. After all, the Nexus 4 is their highly-touted premier new game-changing phone product.

Perhaps this news in which LG states that they will be gearing up production of the Nexus 4 is another piece of the puzzle.  How about we spin a story here:
  1. As soon as trouble reports started trickling in about wifi problems with the new Nexus 4, Google and LG quickly discovered that there was, in fact, a production problem that affected both the wifi and bluetooth functionality of the Nexus 4 phone.
  2. Google instructed their device support team to play ignorant about this.  Phone support personnel were told to allow customers who complained about these problems with the Nexus 4 to return them for refund or exchange, no questions asked.
  3. Google devs were instructed to ignore complaints about the Nexus 4 for as long as possible, and when that was no longer possible, to stall by suggesting that the wifi problems were due to router compatibility issues.
All of the above would hopefully provide enough time for LG to fix their production problems, and then announce an end to the shortage of Nexus 4 product by "increasing production".  Once the production problems had been fixed, of course.

Or, Google really is that indifferent regarding the success of their premier new product line.  Or, they are just unbelievably incompetent. You decide.



  1. If it does turn out to have been a production problem, what do you suppose Google plans to do about those 400,000 defective Nexus 4's already out there?

  2. Great write up Doug! Glad I'm not the only one thinking along these lines. It just doesn't make sense!

    Btw the LG exec who gave the interview to a French blog recently said that they have sold many more N4's than the internet-estimated 375,000, so while they won't give specific numbers, I think it's many more than that. Think about it, it was a staggered near-global launch. Then take into account the N7, N10, and Galaxy Nexus users who have also reported problems, and we're looking at a massive PR fiasco for Android, not just the Nexus line.

    It really makes me wonder why other tech blogs haven't reported this yet. We need to ping them all, link them to the Code thread, and here

  3. Thanks Jason. I was thinking it, but I believe you actually said it first on the 40065 thread.

    I submitted the story to Slashdot, we'll see if they publish it.

  4. " Either way stop trying to pin it on routers"

    They at google are ONLY trying to reproduce the bug to see WHAT is causing the problem...once they can reproduce it on their office, it will be easy to fix the problem

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  6. @3:10pm: How long do suppose it should have taken to have purchased one of the supposedly problematic routers? Two days? Once the router was in-house, how long do think it should have taken to do a stack trace to determine what was causing connection problems? One day?

    Ok, two days.

    Why hasn't the problem been found and fixed, then?

    Or, are you suggesting that the Google developers are incompetent?