Google: Nexus 4 on sale, but high traffic causing purchase errors

The company says heavy demand to the Google Play store is creating problems for shoppers once again trying to buy the company's newest flagship phone.

Casey Newton Former Senior Writer
Casey Newton writes about Google for CNET, which he joined in 2012 after covering technology for the San Francisco Chronicle. He is really quite tall.
Casey Newton
Screenshot by Casey Newton/CNET

Google's newest flagship smartphone went back on sale this afternoon, but heavy traffic to the Google Play store caused errors for many shoppers attempting to purchase the Nexus 4.

The Nexus 4, which starts at $199 with a two-year contract, went on sale November 13 and sold out within the hour. Google did not say how many units it had made available. The phone can be purchased directly through T-Mobile or without a contract from Google Play starting at $299. The unlocked phone can also run on AT&T's network.

Shoppers who had signed up for notification when the device went back on sale received an e-mail letting them know the Nexus 4 would be back in stock and on sale starting at noon Pacific time today. But within a minute, the device appeared to be out of stock. Some users who managed to get the Nexus 4 into their shopping carts were unable to finish checking out.

In response to questions from CNET, Google said that heavy traffic to the Google Play store had created errors for users. The device is not sold out, Google said, and the company encouraged would-be Nexus 4 owners to try again later. As of 1:05 p.m. PT, the device was still showing a "sold out" message.

Watch this: Unboxing Google's Nexus 4 smartphone