The Nexus 4 has certainly been a popular device, we know that from all the hub-bub on Google+ surrounding its "launch" and how quickly they sold out. In some territories the Nexus 4 sold out in less than 30 minutes of it going up for order. That's pretty impressive as historically there's never been too much demand for a Nexus device, until now, as the Nexus line is reserved for stock builds on Android and isn't the type of phone you would necessarily pick for the average consumer. This changed a little with the availability of the Galaxy Nexus on both Verizon and Sprint, making the Nexus available on pretty much any network in the States but, there were no guarantees that you'd end up with the experience Google wanted you to have – especially if you were on Verizon.
With the Nexus 4 from LG, Google decided to go it on their own – aside from upcoming availability in T-Mobile stores – and sell the device exclusively through the Play Store. Without LTE support there was concern that the Nexus 4 wouldn't do very well at all as the U.S. has grown accustomed to the super speedy 4G networks pretty quickly. A lot of doubt went out of the window when potential customers saw just how much an unlocked smartphone from Google would cost, at just $299 for the 8GB version and $349 for the 16GB. That's a lot of phone, a quad-core packing device with 2GB of RAM and the latest version of Android, all for as little as $299. That's great but, how many devices have Google actually sold?
Well, thorough some clever estimation some folks have worked out just how many Nexus 4s might have been sold. They've done this through the following formula:
This LG site will take your IMEI number and generate a number that looks like this: "LGE960 ACAGBK 212KPHG188745 20121206 GLOBAL/GLOBAL N N" If you break the string apart, you get:
LGE960 = phone model
A = ?
CA = Country where the device was sold. (Others include 'US' for the U.S., 'HK' for Hong Kong, 'AU' for Australia and so on.)
G = Storage (G = 16GB, 8 = 8GB)
BK = Color
2 = ?
12 = Production Month (November)
K = Production Country (Korea)
PHG = ?
188745 = The line or production number, showing that phone was the 188,745th device made.
2012121206 = The production date in YYYYMMDD format
Thanks to this formula, Nexus 4 users have been able to share data and using it they can draw conclusions that LG produced just 70, 000 Nexus 4s in October, a further 90, 000 in November and a very large 210, 000 of them in December. These are impressive figures for a Nexus device and while they are just estimates, 400, 000 or so sounds pretty on the money for me. This is more than likely the closest we're going to come to getting sales figures for the device as Google rarely – if ever – divulge sales of devices in the Nexus line.
All of this seems to suggest that stock Android is a lot more popular than anyone would have you believe and that we're all just after a little more control over the phones in our pockets. For LG to ramp up the production is great but, the burning question in my mind is, when can I buy one?