To say the Nexus 4 is the best Android phone ever made would be an understatement. With the exception of the fragile glass back, the Nexus 4 has it all – looks, power and beauty. And after continuing delays in shipping around the globe and “sold out” tags everywhere you look, it would seem that Google is selling a boatload. Right? Well, simply selling out of something and having low stock for months doesn’t automatically mean a ton of units are being moved. If supply is absurdly low from the get go, the constant availability problems are a lot less flattering.
On a separate but related note, if one could figure out the cryptic serial number sequences on the back of said phones, it would go a long way into helping determine exactly how many Nexus 4s had been shipped so far. Manufacturers don’t want you or competitors to know the details of phone manufacturing such as units made, when they’re made, etc. So to have geniuses like those over at XDA figure it out is no doubt a thorn in LG (and Google’s) side.
According to Alexander T. over in the thread over at XDA detailing the serial number cryptography, it’s all pretty simple all things considered. The first three numbers (reading left to right) pertain to the production year and month with 0 being 2010, 1 being 2011 and so on and so forth. Following the first digit is the two digit month number: 01 (January), 02 (February) etc. If you head over to the XDA thread you can get the full “code” for the Nexus 4 serial numbers and find out what it all means.
So what does this all really mean in terms of the bigger picture? Since it was released several months back, the Nexus 4 has only sold in the neighborhood of 370,000 devices. As Stefan Constantinescu points out over at Android Authority, that’s a pretty pathetic number for such a high-end, seemingly successful device. Google should be pissed at LG for building the Nexus 4 at such a slow pace. The demand is there. LG’s interests are elsewhere. And (hopeful) Nexus 4 buyers are still left waiting for stock to come in.