No LG Nexus 4 LTE variant in plans at Google

Lovers of Nexus devices hoping to buy an LG Nexus 4 with 4G LTE connectivity will be quite disappointed to hear that Google has decided against releasing an LTE-enabled Nexus 4, a huge step backwards from the Galaxy Nexus, which was announced as LTE-capable from day one.

According to Andy Rubin, there are a number of reasons for this decision. First, they believe that the hybrid networks that carriers currently use for providing both 3G and 4G connectivity require both 3G and 4G radios to be built into the device, increasing its production cost (as well as adding licensing costs for an LTE baseband chip). Also, it decreases battery life, and since the Galaxy Nexus has always been maligned for its poor battery life when connected to a 4G network (and even otherwise), Google decided to refrain from LTE support on the Nexus 4, at least for now.

Of course, there also seems to be a hidden agenda here – Google does not want US carriers like Verizon and Sprint to mess up the Nexus experience by delaying updates to newer versions of Android, something which they did with Android 4.1 on the Galaxy Nexus. To support LTE would mean some influence by carriers, which would certainly cause delays in deploying updates, which is something Google is probably looking to do away with.

However, whatever the reasons may be, the lack of LTE connectivity will make many prospective customers steer clear of the Nexus 4, at least in the US, where LTE is one of the must-have features of any smartphone these days. Maybe an LTE-enabled variant of the Nexus 4 will come in the future, though that isn’t looking too probably considering Andy Rubin’s (and Google’s) firm stance on the matter.

But one can always hope.