Google's Nexus devices may be top-notch, but man, the company has a long way to go when it comes to providing a good retail experience.
We've covered the mess of the Nexus 4 ordering process pretty thoroughly.
Basic device availability aside, though, I'm growing increasingly concerned by the continued lack of accessories Google is providing for its mobile products.
Case in point: The Nexus 4 launched more than a month ago -- and yet aside from a simple bumper sold briefly in the Play Store, Google has not offered a single case, dock, or car attachment for the device. We heard about a futuristic-sounding charging "orb" that takes advantage of phone's wireless charging capability but have yet to see any sign of it; in fact, the only place the orb has appeared is within an interview on TheVerge.com.
The Nexus 4 isn't alone. Google's Nexus 10 launched at the same time, and a month later, the tablet's accessories list remains empty. Google has a nice magnetic cover for the Nexus 10 that integrates naturally into the device's design -- I know because I tested one while reviewing the tablet last month -- but the thing inexplicably still isn't for sale. And the Nexus 7? It launched in July. We've heard rumors and seen leaks about a dock for the device, built to utilize its pogo pins for cable-free power and audio transmission, but thus far, nothing has materialized.
Look, this obviously isn't life or death stuff we're talking about here, but within the world of mobile device sales, it's important. People want accessories for their phones and tablets, and they don't want to wait months to get them. In fact, these are the kind of items most folks will buy on a whim when picking up a new phone or tablet. So what the hell is Google waiting for?
Back when Nexus devices were considered developer tools, the lack of accessories was understandable. Nowadays, it's a different story. Google is marketing its flagship Android phones and tablets to the masses and working hard to make them mainstream products.
The devices certainly speak for themselves, but they're only one piece of the puzzle. If Google wants to be taken seriously as a retailer, it needs the whole kit and caboodle -- and it needs to get its act together soon.