For being the very first Snapdragon 1Ghz Windows phone in the U.S., the LG eXpo is sure hard to find these days.
Never listed on their consumer site, AT&T only lists it "Out of stock" in their business channel. Outstanding orders are being put on backorder-status and even 3rd party retailers like Amazon.com (who sell it for a fair $99 with contract) are reportedly having supply issues. (Side note: Canada's Telus seems to have them on hand still).
So what exactly is going on here? One would like to believe that the phone is selling so well AT&T simply cannot keep them in stock. But for those who frequent the various smartphone forums may notice that the eXpo crowd is quite tiny compared to other devices. So, yeah, probably not.
The issue appears to be on LG's end or whomever is actually handling the manufacturing. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly) no one is stating specifics, though we imagine there could be quite a few possibilities:
- Chinese New Year: this time of the year, it is not uncommon for manufacturing plants to shut down, halting production.
- Supply issues with Authen Tec's AES1711 fingerprint reader/sensor technology
- Supply issues with Qualcomm's Snapdragon CPU
The Chinese New Year issue is common with electronic OEMs and not a surprise. In turn, many companies prepare for the temporary downward production by increasing production before the holiday. So not likely.
Supply issues with the Authen Tec's AES1711 sensor is a possible, being so new to market. Likewise, HTC could be gobbling up all the Snapdragon's they can for their hugely popular HTC HD2 (probably being massed produced now for T-Mobile U.S.).
AT&T told WMExperts this in response to the eXpo's shortage:
While AT&T and LG continue to work together to ensure a quality product is available to customers, we are currently facing limited quantity of stock on hand. AT&T is working to complete backfill orders and the remaining stock will soon become available for new customer orders for a limited time.
Why a "limited time" only? And why not for regular, non-business consumers? (Business & Premier users can order it here).
We're not sure but hope this situation doesn't last as the eXpo is quite the Windows phone and has, at least for the time being, supplanted my Touch Pro 2 as my favorite device (Hint: 1Ghz matters...a lot). Stay tuned.