Sequential Order Numbers Give Hints On Nexus One Sales

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There hasn’t been much data on sales of the Google Nexus One phone, which first became available on January 5, 2009. The best data on number of handsets sold to date was 20,000 in the first week, based on an indirect analysis by Flurry.

But a reader who purchased two phones a few days apart noticed that the order slips that came with his phones have what appeared to be sequential order numbers. The orders all start with “501” and then have a six digit number following that number. We’ve gathered two more order slips from other readers to add to the data set. Here’s what we have so far:

1/09/10: 501172214
1/11/10: 501180502
1/20/10: 501227996
1/25/10: 501256005

If the orders increase sequentially by one (and there is no reason to think that it does, just a guess), these slips suggest that 83,791 Google Nexus One phones were sold between January 9 and January 25. That’s 4,929 of the devices per day.

We want to gather more slips from readers to help us refine the data, so please send a photo of your slip to tips@techcrunch.com if you have one.

Potential problems with the data:

– The slips are all showing sequential orders by date, but Google could be increasing the order numbers by more than 1 on each order. It’s also possible they’re increasing the order numbers in a different way. More slips, particularly from the first day or two, would help us understand this.

– It’s possible that 256,005 of the phones were sold as of 1/25, but that requires the additional assumption that the order numbers started at 501000001. Early sales slips will help confirm that one way or another.

– We believe that all four of these phones were the unlocked non-subsidized versions of the phone. T-Mobile purchases may have different order numbers. If anyone has a slip for a t-mobile Nexus One, it will help us figure that out.

Also, Google has now changed their order numbering system, perhaps after reading my tweet yesterday asking for people to contact us with their packing orders. We purchased another Nexus One yesterday to see the order number, and it now starts with “610” and has additional digits: 610811985997083. So this won’t work as an estimate tool going forward.

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