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Nexus 5 all but dead and buried?

With Google selling and promoting its Nexus 6 smartphone, has the Nexus 5 reached the end of its production days? One Google rep says the phone will be available again early next year.

The Nexus 5 is out of stock on the Google Play store. Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Consumers currently trying to buy last year's Nexus 5 smartphone may face a tough time.

The Google Play product page for the Nexus 5 no longer shows the red or white versions. The 16GB and 32GB black editions are still up on the page, but Google lists them as being out of stock.

The page suggests that people "please check back soon," but that may not be worth the effort, at least not yet.

Production itself of the Nexus 5 has been stopped, one Google spokesperson told blog site TechRadar. The spokesperson also suggested that potential buyers get them while they can because "once they are gone, they're gone."

However, another spokesperson for Google said that the Nexus 5 will be available for sale on Google Play and through select retailers in the first quarter of 2015.

The Nexus 5 can still be found at select retailers, such as Best Buy and Amazon. But none of the major mobile carriers list the phone on their websites.

Whether or not production is being stopped for the Nexus 5, it's natural for the company to want to steer customers to the latest model. With the Nexus 6 now available, why would someone want the Nexus 5?

The Nexus 6 offers a range of improvements over its predecessor, including display, resolution, processor power, storage capacity and construction, among other features. But the Nexus 6 is also bigger than the Nexus 5, which may not suit all buyers. Though big-screened smartphones seem to be the rage these days, the Nexus 6 weighs in with a 5.96-inch screen, topping the Nexus 5's 4.95-inch screen.

Also, the Nexus 6 is hard to find these days. The Nexus 6 is being sold through Google Play in the usual unlocked edition, but all variants of the phone are listed as out of stock though the product page promises more units available soon.

"We are getting more Nexus 6 devices in stock as soon as possible," Google said on the Nexus 6 product page. "To make things simpler for you, we will work to make more devices available each Wednesday and encourage you to visit the site then."

The phone's manufacturer, Motorola, also offers the Nexus 6, but the product page shows it as out of stock as well. The Nexus 6 is also available through mobile carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular.

A spokesman for Verizon said that the the company will carry the Nexus 6 but hasn't announced pricing or availability just yet. The new Nexus is also available through the usual third-party retailers, such as Amazon and Best Buy.

Update, 12:05 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Google.