How did they do it? They’ve taken the IMEI numbers of their phones and backtracked the production number of their devices using an LG mobile link that’s usually used for finding new firmware. An IMEI number, or International Mobile Station Equipment Identity number, is usually printed on the battery compartment of the inside of the phone. It can be used to prevent stolen phones from accessing a network.
If you take this link and put your IMEI number at the very end, this LG site will spit back out the IMEI followed by a long string of characters that looks something like this: “LGE960 ACAGBK 212KPHG188745 20121206 GLOBAL/GLOBAL N N”
If you break this string apart, you get:
LGE960 = phone model
A = ?
CA = Country where the device was sold. (Others include ‘US’ for the U.S., ‘HK’ for Hong Kong, ‘AU’ for Australia and so on.)
G = Storage (G = 16GB, 8 = 8GB)
BK = Color
2 = ?
12 = Production Month (November)
K = Production Country (Korea)
PHG = ?
188745 = The line or production number, showing that phone was the 188,745th device made.
2012121206 = The production date in YYYYMMDD format
A number of Nexus 4 owners have been sharing and compiling the production numbers day by day (see below). It suggests that LG made about 70,000 devices in October, 90,000 in November and 210,000 in December. Google declined to comment on these numbers.