After buying it, what's the longest you've waited to get a phone?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| November 27, 2012

If you’re someone who likes to have something in your hand before you buy it, then you’ve probably never run into the experience I’m about to outline and discuss with you, Dear Reader. But, if you are that type of person, let me just say that I used to be just like you. When it came to phones, or tablets, or pretty much anything that I knew I’d be using every single day, the idea of buying it without actually using it, or even touching it, was something I wasn’t about to subscribe to at all. But, that’s changed over time, and now I don’t mind buying a new phone online.

As long as I can get it within a reasonable amount of time, that is.

Earlier today, if you were anywhere near Twitter and you follow people who might talk about things like LG’s Nexus 4, you probably saw a tidal wave of tweets regarding the device being up for grabs again. This was after a long stint of being “sold out,” or otherwise missing from Google’s Play store. It officially went on sale again at 12PM Pacific time here in the US, but the event didn’t go as smoothly as Google was probably hoping.

It became immediately apparent that the device wasn’t going to be available immediately, and many people reported watching the device, both the 8GB and 16GB variations, go from “sold out” to “available” back-and-forth repeatedly. It got worse from there, as some lucky folks were able to get one of the devices into their cart, but Google’s systems weren’t keeping up with the demand, and potential customers were simply unable to actually buy the device.

I was one of the people hitting refresh on the page as the minutes ticked on, but there was a moment that made me stop, and just give up on the whole endeavor completely: the moment the shipping went from 1-2 weeks to a whopping 4-5 weeks. That’s a long time to wait for something, especially a phone that, for all intents and purposes, I want to use right now.

As of the time of this writing, both the 8GB and 16GB version of the Nexus 4 are available for you to buy. However, the $299 8GB model is slated to ship “soon,” or in about 7 to 8 weeks. The 16GB version? Also “soon,” but it’s stuck at 4-5 weeks.

I wouldn’t mind buying the Nexus 4, but I’m not going to because I don’t wait to wait that long to get the phone. Actually, it goes beyond that. I just don’t want to buy something that I have to wait that long to use. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Sure, I’d know that I’d get the phone at some point in the future, but I’m not buying it to know I’m getting it. I’m buying it because I want to use it. Experience it. I don’t want to buy something that I have to stare at an email telling me I have to wait to get it.

Of course, this isn’t the only time this has happened to people. When Apple launches a new phone, the wait times for that particular device can get pretty brutal. Which got me thinking about the general consumer, and if they are willing to plant their money down for a device they aren’t going to be able to use for several weeks. Is that something that a lot of people are willing to do?

Which is why I want to know, Dear Reader, how long you’ve had to wait to get a phone you paid for? What’s the longest the wait has been? And, is that something you’d do again? Or are you more likely to just wait, buy the phone and use it the same day from a store? Let me know!

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