This time of year, there are a few things us upper east coasters can expect. We expect the weather to get colder, trees begin to shed their beautifully colored leaves, pumpkins, and the unveiling of Google’s latest flagship phone. So when the search giant announced the LG Nexus 4, many folks were excited. However, once advanced users realized the Nexus 4 wouldn’t carry LTE, it quickly became a bit of a disappointment. At the time, the lack of LTE bothered me. But now that I’ve had time to think about it, and I understand why they didn’t add it.
Of course, many customers will probably skip out on the Nexus 4 because of the lack of LTE support. So the question is if Google knew this, why would it leave out such an important feature to help sell its flagship handset? Well, one word: carriers.
Remember the Sprint Nexus S 4G and Verizon Galaxy Nexus debacles? These devices were plagued with all kinds of issues. Sprint’s version of the Nexus S will forever be in infamy as the phone that pushed me over the edge into the iPhone. In my rant I talked about the broken promises of The Now Network when it came to major updates — the phone didn’t receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich until this past April. As for the Galaxy Nexus, Verizon started off on a bad note by releasing the phone way later than it was supposed to. And anyone who has owned the GNex knows how awful Big Red is with the upgrades.
The point is that Google made compromises to Verizon just so it can release the device on a major network with LTE, and for what? So the Galaxy Nexus can play second fiddle to the Droid Razr? The tech giant was burned by these two carriers, and this time around it decided to avoid appeasing the demands of the major cell phone providers.
Even though Google sidestepped the carriers with the Nexus 4, shenanigans from the top cellular providers continue. T-Mobile is selling its version of the Nexus 4 at an off contract price of $500, which is $150 more than the unlocked version sold by Google. It’s an egregious move. However, the company still managed to stoop even lower by offering the device with hampered WiFi calling. This kind of crap is exactly why carriers are classified as “evil”. Limiting an important feature like WiFi calling (by way of cellular) for reasons unbeknownst to us — is worrisome.
It’s no wonder why Google took the position it took to exclude LTE.