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LG Nexus 4 serial numbers reveal that less than half a million units were sold

LG made the serial numbers printed on the back of the Nexus 4 easy enough to read that people have figured out less than 400,000 units have been made. Face, meet palm.
January 3, 2013

Just about everything that’s mass produced, even food, comes with a serial number of some form or another. Back in the day, companies used to issue serial numbers that were quite easy to understand. The first unit to roll off an assembly line had the serial number 0001, the second was 0002, and so on and so forth. Due to the competitive nature of many industries, serial numbers have become alphanumeric strings that are damn near impossible to decipher. Thanks to some talented individuals at XDA-Developers, they’ve cracked the Nexus 4 serial number code, and they’ve made an incredible claim. They say that using their system, it’s estimated that less than half a million units have been produced.

To be more specific, they say LG made about 70,000 Nexus 4 units in October, 90,000 in November, and finally 210,000 last month. Add up the numbers and you get 370,000 units. There’s no other word to describe that figure other than horrible. Just to give you some perspective: Google, the company that pretty much runs the internet, had problems processing Nexus 4 orders due to the demand their servers encountered.

Speaking about Google, they’re not commenting on the accuracy of these figures, obviously, but you have to think they’re pretty pissed at LG. First they give LG the Nexus contract, only to have them fail to make enough units. And now it’s been discovered that they make their serial numbers easy enough for just about anyone to read!

How many Nexus 4 units should have been made? Ramping up takes time, we get that, but LG should have had a million units available at launch. That’s not a lot of phones in the grand scheme of things. To have made less than half that in 90 days says a lot about LG’s priorities. There’s probably a glut of Optimus G inventory getting dusty in some South Korean warehouse, meanwhile the unlocked unbranded and stock version of said phone is in such high demand that it’s being sold for nearly double the retail price on eBay.

Face, meet palm.