LG Intros White Nexus 4, Talks Nexus 5 - InformationWeek

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5/28/2013
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LG Intros White Nexus 4, Talks Nexus 5

LG isn't building the Nexus 5, but wouldn't turn down the opportunity.

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For smartphone maker LG, white is the new black. The company on Tuesday showed off a new white version of the Nexus 4, and had a few comments about the supposed Nexus 5.

The white Nexus 4 is not groundbreaking in any way -- it's just a white Nexus 4. It's not all white, though. The side edges and the back panel are a new white color, but the black glass that forms the front face of the Nexus 4 is still black. In other words, the white Nexus 4 is only about 60% white. LG didn't offer an explanation about the six-month gap between the release of the black Nexus 4 and the release of the white Nexus 4.

Apple famously had difficulty producing the white iPhone 4 back in 2010. It debuted the black iPhone 4 in June of that year, and promised that the white version would follow a month later. One month turned into eight months, as the white iPhone 4 didn't arrive until February 2011. Believe it or not, colors have a profound effect on materials and manufacturing processes in devices such as smartphones and tablets.

[ Find out how LG fares in customer satisfaction. Read Apple Slips, Samsung Gains In Satisfaction Rankings. ]

Other than the color, the features of the Nexus 4 remain the same. LG did not add LTE, nor a bigger battery as had been rumored. Instead, it keeps the same 4.7-inch in-plane-switching LCD screen with 1280 x 768 pixels, 8-megapixel camera and Snapdragon S4 Pro processor. It can connect to HSPA+ networks worldwide. It will reach Hong Kong first, but should make it to North America within several weeks. LG didn't say if it will be sold directly by Google via the Google Play Store. Pricing wasn't specified.

Beyond the white Nexus 4, LG's execs had a few things to say about the Nexus 5 that sparked some confusion about that device.

Speaking with Dutch publication AllAboutPhones, European LG mobile VP Won Kim is quoted as saying, "The Nexus 4 was a great success despite the production problems for us and Google. However we do not need such a marketing success again."

Kim went on to say that LG didn't have much interest in producing devices that run a clean version of Android. He referenced Samsung's recently announced stock Galaxy S4, which goes on sale next month. "There is no added value for us" to make devices "without our own skins," said Kim.

Kim's comments were misinterpreted to mean that the company has no interest in producing the Nexus 5. That's not true. "What Mr. Won Kim said, is that we are not currently working on a Nexus 5, which is true. But that doesn't mean we would turn down the opportunity," the company said in a follow-up statement.

Earlier this month, Google met with LG to discuss the two firms' hardware road map. Google has been pleased with the success of the Nexus 4, and it is possible that Google partnered with LG once again to make the next Nexus-branded device.

Google is not expected to debut a new Nexus smartphone until October or November.

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