+Diego De Barbieri
I'll guess that you must have not gone to business school. No, that's not a failure. Failure means something entirely different. That's much too harsh. Only fanboys or zealots (or drama folks) would call it that.
For example N4 is on the vendor LG. Now I'll give you that LG should be heavily heavily scrutinized by Google for any future Nexus development (given that they;re prioritizing their own Optimus phones for inventory, which are near copies of the N4). As for the N7 Google has realized with their very 1st tablet that there's actual substantial demand for a great moderate-priced tablet. Did they miscalculate production needs with those tablet launches? It seems that way. It is relatively easily fixable (assuming the chosen vendor has the capacity and contractual commitment to produce a certain amt of quantity at a certain quality level? Yeah it is, welcome to manufacturing / supply mgmt 101.
By the time Nexus 5 or hardware refreshes of N7 / N10 comes out, and with a possible retail presence coming, I personally have no doubt that they'll ensure any future direct partner for Nexus or X products will have contract language and oversight in place to ensure this doesn't happen again. Not with their flagship devices.
And I'm not a blind fanboy by any means, I'm a longtime corporate business person. Let's be super honest, there's no major clamoring for tablets or N4 by 'the masses'. That's what a Google retail store will help with, increase mindshare to the public. It'll help to further put Google in the forefront of the average retail buyer. Google to be sure has to what I call 'bulletproof' their supply chain. One of the best ways is to use top-flight vendors (Hi Sony!) or leverage Motorola whom is now part of Google (they couldn't do that before, it takes time to get on Product roadmaps which are created months -> years in advance).
This isn't rocket science by any means. Any good company takes a harsh, honest look at themselves on a consistent basis, learns what they have to improve on, and then builds a viable action plan to put those recommendations in place. Google in just one facet has already shown glimpses of that with their push to improve and make more cohesive the UI across the board. They hire fantastic people, it's not simply limited to technology folks. That's why there shouldn't be excess hyperbole about 'failures'. Missed opportunities to increase market share with their first year delivering hardware in your name? Sure I'll buy that. It's just hard to take someone seriously when phrases like that are used. Geez.