From commentary on Boeings plans for aircraft production, and numbering (naming):
The timing for aircraft sales is a "complicated, long process," says 787 Program Manager Mike Bair. "The Chinese are wonderful negotiators and they're very patient." He says Boeing is holding commitments for 250 787s even though it has made public only 186. The others are awaiting announcement decisions by carriers.
Bair joked that the name of the new aircraft had turned into a food fight between partisans "of the proud tradition of seven series airplanes" and those ready for the chance to market an "efficient" airplane with the 7E7 moniker. Tradition won out months ago, but an announcement was kept secret in anticipation of the Chinese order because numerology is so important in their culture. Says Bair, "787-8 for the 2008 Olympics just kinda made a nice package for them."