Why we should all celebrate the sale of the millionth Nexus 4

by: Bogdan PetrovanFebruary 8, 2013


Should LG and Google pop the champagne? According to an unofficial tally, the two companies could soon celebrate the sale of the millionth Nexus 4. But is this a performance to be proud of? Or should they better keep it to themselves?

Before we dive in, the tally comes from an XDA Developers user who found out that, by plugging a Nexus 4’s IMEI number into an LG web app, they could access information about the device, including a serial number that is supposedly the device count. Yesterday, a device sold in Turkey was reported to have the serial number “999998”, which means that LG manufactured at least 1 million devices. However, there could be devices out there that haven’t been checked, with higher serials numbers. In other words, the actual number of Nexus 4s made might be higher.

[Update] Some readers have pointed out that due to gaps in the numbering system, LG may have manufactured only 850,000-900,000 Nexus 4 units. Still, I think my points regarding the general trend are still valid.

At this point, some of you might say…

Please, Samsung sells that much in a minute

So we know that LG fabricated at least 1 million Nexus 4 units. Given the popular demand for the device (the Nexus 4 8GB just sold out again in the US, by the way), let’s assume that translates to roughly 1 million Nexus 4s sold.

Is this an achievement for Google and LG?

If you compare it with superstar devices like the Galaxy S3 or the iPhone, the market performance of the Nexus 4 is puny. Samsung and Apple routinely sell the first million of their hero devices within hours of the launch.

But that doesn’t mean we should dismiss the Nexus 4 as a failure. There are three reasons why:

Limited supply

The first reason to feel good about the Nexus 4’s sales numbers is the fact that many people couldn’t even buy one. There’s no telling how many devices might Google and LG have sold, if they didn’t botch the launch, but I’m sure it would be a lot more than one million.

Limited availability

The Nexus 4 wasn’t just constrained by limited supplies, but also by the relatively low number of markets where the device sold. Sure, Google sells the Nexus 4 in the US, Germany, and other big markets, but people in China, or India, or Brazil had to wait for retailers to make it available in their countries, usually at inflated prices. Moreover, in many countries the device hasn’t even become available yet.

Limited clout

Let’s face it. The Nexus is a shining star in the world of Android, but many people just barely got accustomed to Samsung’s “Galaxy” brand. Not to mention those who think that all smartphones are “iphones”. If the Nexus brand had a quarter of Samsung’s or Apple’s clout, it would’ve rocked the market to its core.


The future is bright

Court documents revealed that the Galaxy Nexus, the predecessor of the Nexus 4, sold about 500,000 units between November 2011 and August 2012. That’s about nine months. The Nexus 4 sold twice as much in about three months, while constrained by misjudged supply and limited availability.

The Nexus 4 sold about six times better than the Galaxy Nexus. This is the real reason to celebrate, for Google, and frankly, for all Android fans. If the trend holds, next year we may be talking about the Nexus as a true competitor to the Galaxy S and the iPhone.

Bring out the champagne, guys.

  • First!


  • 1 million?? Celebrate?? Get serious! That’s nothing compared to today’s top manufactures. In fact, 1 million is laughable. A tiny drop in the amount of distributed smartphones. I would go as far to say “its a complete failure” The amount of buzz around the nexus 4 and the price, this thing should have shifted “millions” not “million” I only saw my first Nexus 4 at the weekend!!? Its been out since November. I have the Nexus 7, Nexus 10 and recently sold my GNEX to get an SIII. I was considering a Nexus 4, but no removable battery? Erm, I will pass thanks. Bring on the nexus 5!

    • Have you read the post? I know it’s very little. It’s just much more than the Galaxy Nexus.

      • I’m just pissed they had no where near enough inventory otherwise I would have got one. The who fiasco surrounding the release of the Nexus 4 and “did my payment go through?” or “will it come?” or “when is it next in stock” just left a bitter pill for me to swallow. I’m one of the Nexus brands biggest fans, but the way the Nexus 4 was released? Well, lets just say this, if they had the stock, they defo would have sold millions

        • Looking on the bright side.. This fiasco (that still happening!), should make Google realize the Nexus Brand strength. I hope that the 2013 Nexus has a launch much more bombastic, and a stock preparation to launch more decent!

          I also hope that Google realise that Motorola can be very profitable, IF they produce inside Motorola what they are paying for other companies to do.

        • SOMFW

          So much for your Non Removable battery complaint in your earlier post as being the reason you didn’t get a nexus $

          Once again, Still a tool

      • SOMFW

        Yes, it’s very little! Very little Factual information that is!

    • ratnok

      I agree that the Nexus 5 will be a beast (and the X Phone if they have it unlocked), but the bloatware, Touchwiz, cheaper build quality,pentile screen, and weaker processor & RAM of the S3 makes it a solid #2 (if not #3 when you count the Droid DNA).

      • Its funny because I’m one of the biggest haters of “touchwiz”.. but i tell you what… 4.1 Touchwiz is actually pretty damn good. The amount of smart features and motion features has in fact stopped me from rooting the device and flashing AOKP or Liquid smooths ROM’s onto the device. Still, I’m a massive fan of OLED technology that looking at my Nexus 7 & 10, I can only dream of those deep rich blacks and vibrant colours i get with my GSIII and Galaxy Note. It was painful selling my GNEX BTW… when I first got that phone I was in love lol Lets see what the GSIV and Nexus 5 will be like!!

        • ratnok

          Gary, that is the ONE thing I miss about my GNexus. The RICH blacks and colors of SuperAMOLED are amazing to behold. Too bad Samsung stopped using SuperAMOLED Plus (which wasn’t pentile) because they felt it was too expensive. I’ve seen what Samsung is doing with Touchwiz and even though it’s still ugly (compared to Holo) it has lots of great features that I can see why people still like it.

    • no removable battery? yeah thats reason enough to pass on true android experience, the only phone on the market running android, the fastest as well, for an insane pricepoint. sure, the s3, on touchwizz, crippled with homebuttons, locked down by samsung, ugly like a pig, costing twice as much, hey its MUCH nicer. /s

      to be honest. i wish samsung would fork away and take you people with them. call it bada2. android would be fine still. without those that cannot appreciate and/or have no understanding of design and interface principles even the eco-system would be better off. app making would be streamlined since no samsungs there to fuck up the sdk guidelines or fragment the hardware.

    • SOMFW

      So not having a removable battery is what kept you from buying the Nexus 4?

      Hows that removable battery on your supposed nexus 7 working out for you?

      What a Tool!

  • Jared

    ^ Ugh people who always complain about battery life. Been using my Nexus 4 from ten this morning to now. I have two hours screen on and 45 minute call I’m at 61%. Do you really need 5 hour screen on with 1h 30m call? That’s much better than my friends smartphones including the galaxy s3, iPhone 4/4S and on par if not better than the I phone 5

    • Depends if your an outdoor person.. You see, what works for you, doesn’t work for me. Does that mean that they shouldn’t make devices with removable battery? No. That’s the beauty of Android. I can chose a GSIII if I want with expandable storage and removable battery. I go hunting a lot, and in case you didn’t know, there are not many power outlets in trees, so a backup battery is ESSENTIAL for me.. Jeeze talk about sensitive. Oh and BTW, the GSIII was released 6 months prior to the Nexus 4 so to compare the two is ridiculous. IMO, GSIII is considerably better than the Nexus 4. Just the fact its OLED, has expandable storage and removable battery makes it better… IMO

      • jared

        Why are you complaining about inventory stock if the nexus battery life isn’t up to par with your usage?

  • bob

    Why do I feel like the nexus is definitely the best cellphone on the market and the fact that nobody knows about it makes me like it even more. With the iPhone everyone has one, with a nexus only a million people have them.

    • ratnok

      Because, you’re correct? :)

    • prashant krishna shrestha

      Same thoughts here ….. where i am from (“Nepal”) i think i might be the only one using it….. cos most of the ppl even dont know about it……… most of the ppl use either Iphone or SIII ( in high performance mobiles)……. and am loving it being the unique one……… :)

      • Bajey

        I am thinking of getting this phone as well sathi. I hope it works well with the Nepali network and everything..

        • prashant krishna shrestha

          its been months since I’ve been using it it is farm ore better than i thought ……. if you take my saying dint bother to look any other way “GO FOR IT”……..

          • where can i get one in nepal…i like this phone very much

          • prashant krishna shrestha

            sorry you cant get this phone in Nepal yet ….. i asked my sister in US to buy it for me ….

      • sahi ho

    • Arpatruc

      Bob. If nobody here knows nexsucks is the better phone of the market it’s because it’s NOT.
      Buy a real phone, you’ll be amazed on how nexsucks devices are outdated and outperformed by EVERYTHING.

      • Kevin

        Well you clearly haven’t used one! if you had you’d know your statement is complete b*****ks

        • Nexus-is-overrated

          While I do not entirely agree with Arpatruc, keep in mind that Hardware is a limitation for nexus devices, there are phones which have better hardware. You can always root and install cyanogenmod and be up to date with the latest android regardless of nexus or not. (In fact, most nexus users root anyway?). So the limitation would be hardware with any phone, not software.

    • intvidia

      Best in what? Storage? Camera? Video recording? Pitiful at best. N4 is a pitiful midranger with a high end CPU. It does not even have LTE. People say “use cloud for extra storage” but how can you do that without LTE? Too slow.

      Updates? Well, with that storage you need to root it and use custom ROM to enable USBOTG storage expansion anyway. Then how to enjoy the newest android updates?

  • Ivan Myring

    I got mine 3 weeks ago.
    OMG, Nova Launcher makes it even better

    • Lol, I like Apex

      • ratnok

        I have both. Apex doesn’t do a good job of importing layouts from other launchers, but Nova does a great job. They are both amazing though.

  • $/G/R !

    “but people in China, or India, or Brazil had to wait for retailers to make it available in their countries”

    Had to wait???…..We are still waiting….

    Nexus fan in india has to follow below steps to buy a device..
    1.Use a Vpn and log into playstore.
    2.Send the device to Forwarding sites ik HSG,Borderlinx…..so they can forward it us.

    • Yeah I’m in India too. The whole process is a bitch. And everything costs more. Electronics I mean. Bread is pretty cheap – about 50 cents a loaf, but I’d rather pay American prices for bread and also pay American prices for nexus devices with the same amount of availability.

      • Arpatruc

        You guys have much better to wait three weeks for the Samsung Galaxy S4. It will be available way before any nexsucks device hit your country (it’s not even available in all european countries).

        When you buy a nexsucks device, you are nothing else than lab rats for google. You worth better than this.

    • prashant krishna shrestha

      i had to ask my sister( currently living in US) to bye it for me and wait for someone to return to Nepal for delivery (for rules states that mobiles cannot be delivered by any one else other than authorized importers) …… and the sad thing is it is not avialable here in Nepal…..

  • William

    My only issue with the Nexus devices, is that they don’t have expandable memory.

    • ratnok

      You expand by using the Google Cloud. All of my music, photos, videos, and documents are either in Google Drive (5GB), Google Music (6GB), Google Plus/Picasa (5GB) – that’s 32 GB right there. Then of course there is Evernote, Dropbox (2GB) Box (5GB) and SkyDrive (5GB) if you need more space.

      • What if you don’t have a plan with unlimited data? Or are out hunting in northern Saskatchewan where there is no service? For me, 16GB is normally enough, but its nice to have expandable storage rather than not have it.

        • ratnok

          In practical usage, what would you be doing with your smartphone that you needed additional memory above 16GB while “out hunting in northern Saskatchewan?” I have unlimited data so it doesn’t affect me at all. I still see your point though. If you only have a 2GB data plan, things could get tight if you are 100% cloud-based.

        • SOMFW

          For Sure, Because a few extra GB’s will Make you a better hunter = Still a Tool! I know so many hunters that can’t live with out whatever it is they store on their phone while they are out Hunting in the wilderness for a few days/ They constantly tell me they never put their phones down. Since, in the wilderness, there is a never ending supply of Electricity . On the other hand, some are so busy playing angry birds or whatever other gay game you must have on your phone they hardly have time to hunt!

          Please Shut up already you Tool = The first and last thing you ever hunted was your mommy’s CC so you could buy your imaginary nexus

        • Nickan Fayyazi

          Not having an unlimited data plan is no longer a problem for most people with $30 unlimited plans. If you want unlimited data, you can probably get it with little or no sacrifice.

      • FrillArtist

        That is not expandable memory, you dope. It’s called cloud storage which is only available if you have a sufficient data plan, good enough data speed and a data connection.

      • Nickan Fayyazi

        You mean 50GB for Box. Box gives you 50GB of free space forever if you have an LG device.

  • We are still waiting for the Nexus 4 in Brazil…

    • So bad… if feel bad as the Nexus 4 should clearly be selling more

  • Somfw

    Just when you thought the Android vs iPhone or Apple, Android fanboy article’s couldn’t get any dumber or pointless…. along comes this one! What’s the point? It’s based on nothing and even if it wasn’t, it’s still pointless. people need a hobby

    • Khushi

      If you are an iFan, what are you doing on this site? I enjoyed reading this article as I am a nexus fan. What’s your problem?

      • SOMFW

        What did you enjoy about it? The “Facts” or the keystone cops guess work at them based on nothing. This “article” if you could call it one, is just another in a long line of mental Midget, fact less opinion pieces. They all use a catchy headline or premise to get people to read them. When you do, you are left wondering, how to get your wasted two minutes back. That is of course, if your IQ isn’t single digit. Which, you proved yours is when you insinuated that I am an Apple fan. If you could read you would clearly see i’m neither an Android fanboy or an apple one.

    • Why is this pointless? The Nexus 4 sells much better than the Galaxy Nexus, that much is obvious. It means that the Nexus line is starting to make an impact, which is important for the entire industry. Thanks for reading.

      • Arpatruc

        Woah! The Nexus 4 sells better than a device who’s production stopped!
        What a new!

        • Nickan Fayyazi

          You’re right! It’s no big deal that the Nexus 4, which has been out for 3 months, has sold 6 times as much as a device that’s been out for over a year!

      • SOMFW

        Because it’s based on Nothing. It is all opinion, nothing more. Speaking of opinions, what proof do you have that the few month old nexus 4 outsold or “Sells” better that the 1.5 year old Galaxy Nexus? See the point on opinions? I doubt it

        • I laid down my arguments in the post. I am not going to waste my time explaining them again.

          • SOMFW

            No J.O, what. you “laid Down” were your opinions based on nothing but others opinions, guesstimates, approximations pulling rabbits out of hats and good old FanBoy Faith. But thanks for showing us all what a tool you really are by not answering with actual FACTS. Just to clarify for you and the other mental midgets. the Gnex has out sold the Nexus4 by a factor of 8 to 1 to date. and is still selling as of today. This “Fact” came from entering a Galaxy Nexus IMEI number into an Samsung web app. Which lists it as number 8,612,363

    • Arpatruc

      google should stop lying and Android stop being google’s bitch before you lose all your credibility like CNET.

      Once you crack the way to decode the serials numbers LG uses, you’ll find LG made about 70,000 Nexus 4 units in October, 90,000 in November, 210,000 in December. This makes 370,000 units.

      Even if LG produced 250,000 units in January you barely reach the half million units.

      This, and add the fact LG doesn’t uses continuous numbering (there are big holes in the serial numbers), and you’re probably nearer of 400,000 than the half million.

      • SOMFW

        And here we go again! This response was as stupid at the original article.
        So you cracked the code huh (as if there is a “Code” to crack)? Prove it!
        Nobody blogging, or writing these endless Apple / Android Sales, market share, whose winning etc articles including the original articles author know how many Nexus 4’s were built and sold except Google and LG. Unless you have documented verifiable proof, STFU. You sound like a total tool.

  • nexi

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

    source: techcrunch Nexus 4 one million shipped

  • Arpatruc

    google should stop lying, and Androidauthority should stop to propagate false news, or you risk to turn as an untruthful source of news like CNET

    Last month another article Androidauthority stated:
    “Once you crack the way to decode the serials numbers LG uses, you’ll find LG made about 70,000 Nexus 4 units in October, 90,000 in November, 210,000 in December. This makes 370,000 units.”

    Even if LG produced 250,000 units in January you barely reach the half million units

    This, and add the fact LG doesn’t uses continuous numbering (there are big holes in the serial numbers), and you’re probably near of 400,000 than the half million.

    So, stop lying before it’s too late.

  • Arpatruc

    google should stop lying and Android stop being google’s bitch before you lose all your credibility like CNET.

    Once you crack the way to decode the serials numbers LG uses, you’ll find LG made about 70,000 Nexus 4 units in October, 90,000 in November, 210,000 in December. This makes 370,000 units.

    Even if LG produced 250,000 units in January you barely reach the half million units

    This, and add the fact LG doesn’t uses continuous numbering (there are big holes in the serial numbers), and you’re probably nearer of 400,000 than the half million.

  • Nexi

    Phone produced in Oct had serial#
    10000 19th of Oct, AUS8BK
    20000 USA
    60000 AUS
    70123 ATMOBK (t-mobile)

    Something like 70k devices produced in October

    73000 1-th AO2UBK (O2 UK model)
    75000 5-th AO2UBK
    80000 5-th AO2UBK
    85000 21-th (?) AUKGBK – strange,
    90000 9-th AUS8BK
    92000 10-th AUS8BK
    95000 – USA
    109000 – GER
    110000 – UK
    132000 – USA
    138000 – USA
    150000 – USA
    160000 – AUSGBK

    265133 14-th ADEUBK GERMANY
    266133 15-th AHKGBK Hong Kong
    267133 15-th AHKGBK Hong Kong
    268133 15-th ADEUBK GERMANY
    269133 15-th ADEUBK GERMANY
    270133 15-th ASWSBK SWS Switzerland (looks like around 500 units)
    271133 16-th AISRBK Israel
    272133 15-th ADEUBK Germany
    273133 15-th AHKGBK Hong Kong
    274133 15-th AHKGBK Hong Kong
    275133 15-th AHKGBK Hong Kong
    277133 17-th AHKGBK Hong Kong
    278133 17-th AHKGBK Hong Kong
    279133 16-th AMYSBK
    280123 17-th AMYSBK
    289000 18-th UK
    300123 19-th ADEGBK
    305112 19-th ACA8BK
    306000 28-Oct (?) AUSGBK, 211KPPB306000 “csn” is also very different from the “surroundings”
    306001 8-Oct AUSGBK 211KPHG306001 esnoutgodate=null >>Never shipped?
    306009 4-th Dec AUSGBK 212KPHG306009 esnoutgodate=null
    306010 19-th AUS8BK 212KPYR306010 esnoutgodate=null
    306020 19-th AUS8BK esnoutgodate=null
    314001 19-th AFRGBK
    314002 19-th ADEGBK
    314050 19-th ADEGBK
    314123 19-th ADEGBK
    315112 19-th ADE8BK
    319123 20-th ADEGBK
    320123 20-th ADEGBK
    321123 20-th AAUGBK
    325112 20-th AUSGBK
    330123 20-th AUSGBK
    340123 21-th ACAGBK
    350123 22-th AUS8BK
    360123 26-th AUSGBK
    365123 27-th AUS8BK
    370123 27-th AUSGBK
    374110 28-th AUSGBK

    January 2013
    375110 2-th AUS8BK
    377110 3-th ASFRBK
    381110 2-th ASFRBK
    385110 3-th AGBRBK GBR “UNITED KINGDOM” – a new retailer? Play store was a AUKGBK
    390110 3-th AUSGBK
    395110 4-th AUSGBK
    399110 3-th ATMOBK
    400110 4-th AUSGBK
    406110 4-th AUSGBK
    445110 9-th ATMOBK
    450110 9-th ATMOBK
    451110 8-th ANEUBK “EUROPE OPEN” – something new
    455110 8-th ANEUBK
    456110 8-th ACAGBK CANADA_OPEN
    461110 8-th ATMOBK
    463110 8-th ADEGBK
    465110 8-th ADEGBK
    467110 9-th ADEGBK
    469110 9-th ADEGBK
    471110 9-th ATMOBK
    474110 9-th ATMOBK
    476110 9-th ATMOBK
    479110 9-th AUS8BK
    482110 9-th ATMOBK
    487110 10-th AUKGBK
    489110 10-th AUKGBK
    491110 10-th AAVCBK VIDEOTRON – seems to be a Canadian telco?
    493110 10-th ADEUBK
    495110 10-th ADEUBK
    497110 10-th AISRBK
    499500 10-th AUKGBK
    502035 11-th AUSGBK
    507035 11-th AUSGBK
    512035 11-th AUS8BK
    513035 11-th AUS8BK

    650986 – 18th of January
    752,xxx – 22nd of January

    834,xxx – 27nd of January
    933,xxx – 30th of January

    999,998 – 5th of Feb

  • mc wong

    the N4 is worth waiting for so my guess is buyers will wait 1 or 2 weeks if they wanted one and will not buy another phone. Those that does should be in the minority and wont affect sales. The S4 will probably cost twice the N4. Samsung updates really sucks, have to wait months to get an update and even then it’s 2 versions behind. I waited 6 months for ICS update to my S2 and am still waiting for JB. My N4 is already running 4.2.2. Waiting 2 weeks is better than waiting 6 months for an update.