New Estimates Place Nexus 4 Sales Over One Million Since November Launch


Last month a group of savvy XDA Developer forum users established a method to guesstimate the Nexus 4 production run using the device’s IMEI numbers. Original estimates last month pegged sales around 400,000 units all totaled. Now, a new XDA post by member draugaz indicates the company has already passed one million devices sold.

While Google has declined to talk sales numbers for the Nexus 4 directly, TechCrunch reports that a source inside Mountain View says the company is very happy with sales. As for the XDA post, which went up yesterday, the 999,998th Nexus 4 was apparently sold in Turkey even as Google Play currently doesn’t offer the device for sale there. The post notes:

Ladies and gentleman, we just reached the millionth device!

(of course just judging by serial number, i.e. minus gaps)

ATURBK 302KPSL999998 20130205 TURKEY

Which means, IMEI prefix 35391805* is now officially complete and the next one will be started.

With demand for the Nexus 4 continuing to keep the phone in and out of stock on Google’s website and both Google and LG declining to comment on sales, it’s been hard to quantify an actual number of units sold. If the one million units sold number is correct, and we suspect the crafty folks at XDA are spot on, that’s pretty good for less than three months of shelf life. It’s even more impressive when you consider the frequency with which the Nexus 4 goes out of stock, but understandable when you look at how quickly it sells out when it comes back in stock.

Using the same production estimates in the XDA thread, forums members have also estimated production totals by month, which shows a clear ramping up in January:

  • October: 70,000
  • November: 90,000
  • Dec: 210,000
  • January: 550,000+

You can keep track of the XDA thread at the link below.

TechCrunch via XDA Developers

Determining the estimates:

If you take this link and put your IMEI number at the very end, this LG site will spit back out the IMEI followed by a long string of characters that looks something like this: “LGE960 ACAGBK 212KPHG188745 20121206 GLOBAL/GLOBAL N N”

If you break this 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 = Production year (2012)
12 = Production Month (December)
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


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  • ceegii63

    in spite of LG screwing the pooch in catching up to the demand, could have been more than just a million by now

    • Ordeith

      LG makes almost nothing on these phones. Google is poisoning the entire market with their “subsidize with spyware” model. Be wary of them.

      • atari37

        Which division of LG do you work for? How do you know they are not making anything on these phones. The Nexus name alone gives them a big incentive. Just 3 years ago, everyone was cursing at Samsung for not updating their phones. No one wanted a Samsung phone until they released a Nexus and people started buying a Samsung again. That’s what put the back on the map before the Galaxy SII. I believe the exact same thing is happening for LG.

        Secondly, after people were complaining to the T-Mobile G+ account this week, they came out and said this:

        “Thank you for reaching out. We understand the questions regarding the price difference. The actual price from the OEM is $499.99, and Google…being Google, :) can subsidize the device w/out contract. We can also subsidize with contract. Off contract, we do have to go with MSRP. Either way you purchase the device, either in store or on the Play Store, we are happy. :) “.

        Just because it’s cheaper than what the carriers are charging doesn’t mean LG isn’t making anything and it certainly doesn’t mean Google is poisoning anything. It amazes me how we complain when something is expensive and complain when something is cheap.

        • archerian

          I understand your point. Assuming like the Galaxy Nexus the Nexus 4 sells a couple of million units, wonder if Google would really subsidize $300 million worth of phones (assuming half of them are sold via Google Play)

  • nerdlust

    My contract is not up till November and I’m considering the note2 and waiting for info on moto xphone. But I went into T-Mobile and they let me play with a nexus 4 it was so smooth it made by sensation feel like my old bb8100

    • Dion Mac

      baaahahaha… i switched from a sensation too. It made my sensation feel like a nokia 5110!

    • tomnewtn

      I had the Note II and black One S and was able to compare them to the Nexus 4 hands on. Sent back all but the Nexus4. Love it.

  • Kenny O

    Other than my Nexus 4, I have not seen one other one in the wild. And I generally notice what phones other people are using.

  • minioninnc

    Hey David, that link isn’t working to check your IMEI.

  • archerian

    LG has used 1M IMEIs, doesn’t really mean there are 1M of them sold and in the hands of users, for all we know it could be in a dark warehouse in Kentucky or a container on a ship in the Pacific… and once they knew people figured out how to count devices using the link, maybe they started skipping, just to keep us all guessing ;)

  • nexi

    not bad for a phone that has been on sales for at most 10-14 days.

    (with about 40 days out of stock).

  • Lol people still buy this device?

  • Guest

    Use this link.

    Don’t use dashes or spaces in the IMEI number.