We have seen the Nexus 4 bounce in, and out of an available status since the handset originally launched. Given that, one would assume that the Nexus 4 was either sold out due to overwhelming demand or that it was sold out due to LG not being able to have enough made. We have heard a bit from Google on this matter, but regardless of why, the Nexus 4 remains an often discussed device.
And when we have an often discussed device we sometimes see neat little things come as a result. That seems to be the case with the Nexus 4 and the serial number. On in this case, which some have strung out to a guesstimate on the sales. You see, some users over on xda developers forums have dissected the Nexus 4 serial number (the one on the box) and were able to come up with some interesting bits.
For example, the first three positions in the serial number reveal the production date and the fourth position reveals the country where the handset was manufactured. For example, if your serial number begins with 211K your Nexus 4 would have been manufactured in Korea during the month of November. Specifically in November 2012. The first digit is the year, in this case 2012 and the 11 is the month. Going on this, future devices should lead with a 3 for 2013.
The sales guesstimate comes in with the ending of the serial number and while it is interesting data, there are likely some flaws. For example, much of this seems to be focused on the 16GB model. Anyway, with the warning out of the way, lets mention the numbers that have been discussed up until this point. The xda thread notes that they have produced about 70,000 devices in October 90,000 in November and 210,000 in December bringing the total up to 370,000. Bottom line here, you can take the sales estimates as you see fit. Otherwise, this is a neat little way for Nexus 4 users to see where and when their handset was manufactured.