The Nexus 4 out of stock puzzle may have been solved. Owners can now try a system being used by an XDA forum user to determine when their LG-manufactured device was made.
CNET UK reported XDA user Alexander T has decoded the Nexus 4 serial number, and other users seem to corroborate his deductive findings. This could help explain the Nexus 4 availability issues.
Alexander T has concluded the first four characters of the serial number on the Nexus 4 box indicate the year and country where the Nexus 4 was manufactured. In the CNET UK example, a unit made in November 2012 in Korea would have "211K" in the first part of the serial number.
A single digit represents the year a Nexus 4 unit was made; hence, 2 for 2012 and 3 for 2013. It is followed by two digits for the month. A letter comes next for the country: K for Korea, C for China. Several Nexus 4 owners have checked their boxes to see if the system worked, and they proved that it did.
Having seen that Alexander T's process worked, another user brought up the idea of figuring out how many Nexus 4 units have been manufactured so far.
"Now it would be interesting to decode the rest of the numbers so we could roughly estimate the actual production counts," XDA user draugaz suggested.
With the help of other Nexus 4 users in the forum, XDA found out that LG made only 70,000 Nexus 4 in October. A month later, 90,000 units were manufactured. Then in December, 200,000 units were built. If the users got the figures right, it will explain why Nexus 4 frequently went out of stock.
"Wow these phones are being made a week before we get them! Google really has no stock of the phone," noted user Chad_Petree.
Tech Crunch reported Google is sorting out its inventory issues and T-Mobile will be able to sell Nexus 4 within the month.
A Google executive last month blamed LG for the frequent out of stock status of Nexus 4.
"Supplies from the manufacturer are scarce and erratic, and our communication has been flawed. I can offer an unreserved apology for our service and communication failures in this process," Google managing director Dan Cobley posted on his Google+ account.
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