The search company is keeping the numbers a secret, but it turns out that curious developers and tinkerers from XDA’s forums have found a way to figure it out. It is all in the serial numbers of Nexus 4 devices.
Interestingly, the Nexus 4 serial code starts with three numbers and a letter, for example 212K. The first number denotes the year, 2012, the second and third are for the month, December or the 12th month, and the last K is for Korea, the country where it’s manufactured.
Further diving into the system and comparing various serial numbers, users have managed to figure out not just vague approximations, but very real numbers.
In October, for instance, there were only 70,000 Nexus 4 devices produced, then 90,000 in November, and 210,000 in December. Subsequently, it was discovered that phones are quickly being made after being ordered, with one phone made for three days and taking a week to ship from Korea to the United States. Overall, with a slight allowance, the total number comes at around 375,000 Nexus 4 units produced.
This definitely does not mean actual sales, since there is stock at carrier and retailers, but it looks like a very precise approximation.
And with merely 210,000 devices made in December it is either LG not catching up with demand, or not willing to catch up with it. The Nexus 4 sells for a discounted price starting from $299 for the 8GB model, nearly half the price of other devices in its class.
source: XDA Developers via The Verge