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Users Decipher Serial Numbers to Estimate Nexus 4 Sales

By - Source: XDA Developers | B 13 comments

Rough estimates indicate just under 400,000 units sold so far.

Despite launching several months ago, Google's Nexus 4 smartphone is still pretty hard to find. The company's first device developed in collaboration with LG has suffered from supply problems from the beginning. Each time the phone becomes available on the Google Play Store, it sells out within a few minutes. Even those that do manage to snap one up are met with abnormally long wait times (as long as eight weeks) for delivery. So, the phone is in demand, that much we know. But how many has Google sold?

Neither Google nor LG has revealed any sales information, nor are they talking about production volumes. However, one user on the XDA Develops forums has used Nexus 4 serial numbers to estimate how many units have been produced since the phone was launched in October. User draugaz says that using the serial numbers to infer production rate indicates roughly 70,000 devices produced in October, 90,000 produced in November, and 210,000 produced in December. That equates to around 370,000 units since launch.

If this rough estimate is close to true, it seems LG and Google have ramped up production considerably since the October launch, producing triple the number of units in December compared to October. Still, the device remains sold out on Google Play, which means production still isn't where it needs to be to meet demand.

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  • 6 Hide
    ricardok , January 3, 2013 8:01 PM
    I bet LG never thought it could sell that many phones as being a small player (compared to other Android manufacturers).
  • 0 Hide
    jacobdrj , January 3, 2013 8:15 PM
    Is that a lot?
  • -4 Hide
    InvalidError , January 3, 2013 9:00 PM
    210k in one month is relatively small. iToys and many other over-hyped gadgets ship more than that at launch from pre-orders.
  • 5 Hide
    aragis , January 3, 2013 10:54 PM
    Would have easily been 1 millon+ if there was no supply problems
  • 5 Hide
    mman74 , January 3, 2013 11:23 PM
    If you could just keep these things in stock then you would have sold well over a million.
  • 2 Hide
    joytech22 , January 4, 2013 1:21 AM
    InvalidError210k in one month is relatively small. iToys and many other over-hyped gadgets ship more than that at launch from pre-orders.


    So did this device, which is why it's still sold out to this day.
    This isn't a low-demand device by ANY means.
  • 2 Hide
    InvalidError , January 4, 2013 1:38 AM
    joytech22This isn't a low-demand device by ANY means.

    Demand is not the problem, production volume was for the first two months after launch: only 70k and 90k units for Oct. and Nov. respectively.

    This is much lower than most other launches of similarly hyped devices that often sell over 500k units/month for several months.
  • 0 Hide
    dns7950 , January 4, 2013 2:08 AM
    This supply problem seriously hurt their business... I have been checking the play store daily for well over a month now, and it's finally got to the point where i give up. I hope Google never works with LG again. I have to hate on Google a bit too, they obviously knew it would be in extremely high demand given the specs for the price... They never should have released a product if they weren't prepared to meet the demand.. I wouldn't be so pissed if they had at least labelled it as a "limited edition" or something, or announced that there was going to be a short supply of them beforehand.. But the way they launched it knowing it would immediately sell out, and then just leave it in the play store labelled as "sold out" with no mention of when it could become available, and even eliminate the option of being notified when it comes in stock, it's just completely unaceptable.. Tomorrow i'm going to go spend twice as much money on a Nokia Lumia 920,even though Windows 8 it doesn't have the app selection of Android. So f*** Google and f*** LG.
  • 0 Hide
    snoogins , January 4, 2013 4:21 AM
    I have to say that I was not very impressed with the Nexus phone this time around hardware-wise. Not too mention lack of support for all carriers (yes the LTE exists...).

    However, it didn't really matter because even if I still wanted one I wouldn't be able to. Hopefully something comes out soon, because my upgrade has been up for 2 months.
  • 0 Hide
    doive1231 , January 4, 2013 7:08 AM
    dns7950. The Nexus 4 was available to pre-order before Christmas for about a week so I don't understand your post.
  • 0 Hide
    blubbey , January 4, 2013 8:20 AM
    It could've been so much more. Launch and supply problems galore.
  • 0 Hide
    bluekoala , January 4, 2013 1:36 PM
    Supply problems aren't a big deal for me; my contract with Telus is up in 4 months and I already have a Galaxy Nexus. Nexus 4 will be my new gadget and my wife can use my galaxy nexus afterwards. I seriously don't understand how some people can be so upset about the specs either; they're pretty close to cutting edge; and at that price point you just simply can't get anything better unless you sign some sort of binding contract. I would recommend this phone to anyone that doesn't want to sign a contract or wants the most up to date android OS.
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , January 4, 2013 1:51 PM
    Google and LG are limiting the supply on purpose.

    By releasing a phone that beats all other android pones in the value-for-$ segment by far, Google is competing with its own partners. It isn't wise to bite the hand that feeds you, so Google creates the hype without selling too many phones. Google isn't interested in making $ from Nexus 4, it only wants to create the hype, and show its partners that they need to do better (better value phones with up-to-date OS - which is what nexus 4 is). Google is basically telling its partners: "If you don't do a better job, remember that I have the potential to create a far better device than any one of you has right now, and you don't want me to do that and eat into your profits, now do you?" - hence the limited stock, because Google just want to bluff that it can eat its own partners for breakfast. Google wants as many partners as possible, and wants them to complete with each other, while google sits back and counts the $.