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Google Explains Lack of LTE in Nexus 4 Smartphone

By - Source: Droid Life | B 42 comments

Current LTE networks utilize last generation's technology.

Despite featuring a slew of enticing additions such as Android 4.2 and a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz processor, the Nexus 4 doesn't feature LTE compatibility. Google has now explained why it was hesitant in integrating LTE support into the device.

According to Google's Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital Content Andy Rubin, various LTE networks currently in use are hybrid networks, which still utilizes last generation networks.

"We certainly have a desire to offer devices on every carrier on the planet," Rubin said. "The tactical issue is GSM vs. LTE. A lot of the networks that have deployed LTE haven't scaled completely yet - they're hybrid networks. They'll do their old thing and they'll do LTE, which means the devices need both radios built into them. For now, we're gonna sit back and let those networks evolve."

Rubin also said there were manufacturing concerns to consider as well in terms of integrating LTE support into the Nexus 4.

"Two radios in a device right now certainly raises the cost, and diminishes battery life," he explained. "When we did the Galaxy Nexus with LTE we had to do just that, and it just wasn't a great user experience. It's possible to do it right, but that's not where we'll put our resources initially. Tactically, we want to make sure the devices are available for every network on the planet."

The Nexus 4 is priced extremely competitively, with the smartphone costing just $299 without contract. It'll launch in the United States and the UK among other regions come November 13.

 

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    jimmyjohnz , October 30, 2012 4:07 PM
    Honestly, at $300, that is a legitimate excuse to not have 4g.
  • 28 Hide
    chuckydb , October 30, 2012 4:07 PM
    I was scratching my head when they said there was no LTE,
    but looking at the price, I'll forgive them...
    hoooooly s!!!!t, I'm forgiving them for sure.
  • 10 Hide
    killerclick , October 30, 2012 4:47 PM
    The only explanation needed is $299. How much do people use LTE on their phones anyway? Google is smart to push knockdown prices on powerful off-contract Nexus devices. Carriers and OEMs are the ones most at fault for Android fragmentation, and seeing how many people in the developing world use smartphones as their primary internet devices, Google wants to get them early. If Nexus 4 is as good as Nexus 7, it's going to kick ass.
Other Comments
    Display all 42 comments.
  • 28 Hide
    chuckydb , October 30, 2012 4:07 PM
    I was scratching my head when they said there was no LTE,
    but looking at the price, I'll forgive them...
    hoooooly s!!!!t, I'm forgiving them for sure.
  • 28 Hide
    jimmyjohnz , October 30, 2012 4:07 PM
    Honestly, at $300, that is a legitimate excuse to not have 4g.
  • 7 Hide
    classzero , October 30, 2012 4:15 PM
    I think I will have to go with a Samsung, I don't like how they removed the sd card. I know it makes sense from a profit milking stand point, but this isn't an iOS device!
  • -1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , October 30, 2012 4:27 PM
    8GB with no expandable storage, plus no LTE. Seriously 8GB, that's what 5.5 - 6 maybe after the OS and converting from 1GB = 1,000,000,000 bytes to 2^30 bytes as well. No wonder its so cheap, they really tarnish the "Nexus" brand with this.
  • 4 Hide
    Cryio , October 30, 2012 4:28 PM
    300$ is a great deal, unfortunately in my country (Romania) the phone will probably sell for about 700+ dolars. Like any othe high-end phone without a contract actually.

    Microsoft sold Nokia Lumia 900 with 100 dolars. Here prices were ranging between 415 and 600.
  • 10 Hide
    killerclick , October 30, 2012 4:47 PM
    The only explanation needed is $299. How much do people use LTE on their phones anyway? Google is smart to push knockdown prices on powerful off-contract Nexus devices. Carriers and OEMs are the ones most at fault for Android fragmentation, and seeing how many people in the developing world use smartphones as their primary internet devices, Google wants to get them early. If Nexus 4 is as good as Nexus 7, it's going to kick ass.
  • -1 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2012 4:49 PM
    You people are silly. So it doesn't have an SD card. I use to think the same thing about the iPhone. But after getting my hands on an Android tablet and realizing that while I had a 4 GB SD card I never really used it because all my music is on Google Music, I can watch video from Amazon or my network at home and I don't need 700,000 apps installed anyways I came to the conclusion that an SD card is about as useful as a thumb drive these days. With Google Drive and SkyDrive I have all the space I need to access any files I need. So in essence the lack of an SD card is a minor inconvenience when Android Bean can transfer files easily and instant upload uploads my pictures and videos to my G+ account automatically. What you should really be complaining about is the size of the internal storage. Whats up with no 64GB?

    As for LTE, its not like you are using your phone to download torrents or 5 GB files.
  • 9 Hide
    killerclick , October 30, 2012 4:50 PM
    Cryio300$ is a great deal, unfortunately in my country (Romania) the phone will probably sell for about 700+ dolars.


    So book a cheap flight/train/bus to someplace in Europe where prices are reasonable, buy a bunch of Nexus 4s and/or Nexus 10s and resell them just to cover your expenses.
  • 1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , October 30, 2012 5:04 PM
    killerclickThe only explanation needed is $299. How much do people use LTE on their phones anyway? Google is smart to push knockdown prices on powerful off-contract Nexus devices. Carriers and OEMs are the ones most at fault for Android fragmentation, and seeing how many people in the developing world use smartphones as their primary internet devices, Google wants to get them early. If Nexus 4 is as good as Nexus 7, it's going to kick ass.


    It's like saying does a phone a few years ago need 3G, who uses it, 2G is ok. 3G is the past, old and antiquated. While we're at it, who needs a quad-core or a 1.5 Ghz? Why not just cheap out on there too to lower the cost.
  • 3 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , October 30, 2012 5:08 PM
    ChuckCortesYou people are silly. So it doesn't have an SD card. I use to think the same thing about the iPhone. But after getting my hands on an Android tablet and realizing that while I had a 4 GB SD card I never really used it because all my music is on Google Music, I can watch video from Amazon or my network at home and I don't need 700,000 apps installed anyways I came to the conclusion that an SD card is about as useful as a thumb drive these days. With Google Drive and SkyDrive I have all the space I need to access any files I need. So in essence the lack of an SD card is a minor inconvenience when Android Bean can transfer files easily and instant upload uploads my pictures and videos to my G+ account automatically. What you should really be complaining about is the size of the internal storage. Whats up with no 64GB? As for LTE, its not like you are using your phone to download torrents or 5 GB files.


    Should we go back to 2G too? Why we're not downloading torrents or 5 GB files. LTE is faster, the whole point of going from 2G -> 3G -> 4G LTE is speed. You're talking about cloud based services and synching stuff and how you don't need an expandable storage, understood. Now you're doing all that on a slower network if you're not on WiFi. Shoot, we can save costs even more we should go to slower WiFi (802.11b) as well since we're not using phones for torrents or 5 GB files...
  • 3 Hide
    killerclick , October 30, 2012 5:11 PM
    wemakeourfutureIt's like saying does a phone a few years ago need 3G, who uses it, 2G is ok. 3G is the past, old and antiquated. While we're at it, who needs a quad-core or a 1.5 Ghz? Why not just cheap out on there too to lower the cost.


    You do realize most places in the world and most people who will buy smartphones will not have LTE even 3 years from now? It's a strategic decision for Google, do they push the latest and greatest device to less people in more developed places, or do they push a cheaper device to more people all around the world? I think Nexus 7 is proof that there's a huge market for cheap devices that make a few compromises (like no back camera, no SD card), so I think Nexus 4 will sell great if it works as advertised, and users will just have to make-do with downloading only at 2.5 megabytes per second (like two simultaneous 1080p videos from YouTube).
  • 2 Hide
    brushrop03 , October 30, 2012 5:49 PM
    So few points...

    I really think there is no excuse. People would pay more for LTE. People buy phones, off contract, for $550-800 all the time. So add LTE. Add a bigger battery.

    I believe there are a lot of great devices, with LTE, that have great battery life. My Galaxy S III makes it through the day without issue. The new Galaxy Note II has crazy battery life.

    You don't have to make millions of phones, but come on. You can make some.

    And a phone with 8GB with no SD card slot should not exist to begin with. 16GB should be minimum with 32GB option.

    Carriers here in the U.S. do cannibalize phones. Especially the Big Red. Google needs to do better at negotiating deals in which carriers aren't allowed to do those type of software tweaks. Especially for flagship phones. Apple doesn't have this issue.

    These are pretty weak excuses.
  • 2 Hide
    m32 , October 30, 2012 6:53 PM
    Google should have gave the Apple response,"You don't need LTE!"
  • 1 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , October 30, 2012 7:04 PM
    killerclickYou do realize most places in the world and most people who will buy smartphones will not have LTE even 3 years from now? It's a strategic decision for Google, do they push the latest and greatest device to less people in more developed places, or do they push a cheaper device to more people all around the world? I think Nexus 7 is proof that there's a huge market for cheap devices that make a few compromises (like no back camera, no SD card), so I think Nexus 4 will sell great if it works as advertised, and users will just have to make-do with downloading only at 2.5 megabytes per second (like two simultaneous 1080p videos from YouTube).


    The 16GB model is $349.99, which is roughly $50 cheaper than devices that like Nokia 900 that are 4G, 16GB. There are Android devices that are 4/8/16GB internal with expandable (some come with free 16gb cards) with LTE, front camera, etc. for $50 more. Nexus 4 does offer a more powerful processor, with better display but the battery on it has a lot to be desired to power all that.
  • -1 Hide
    acadia11 , October 30, 2012 7:19 PM
    killerclickYou do realize most places in the world and most people who will buy smartphones will not have LTE even 3 years from now? It's a strategic decision for Google, do they push the latest and greatest device to less people in more developed places, or do they push a cheaper device to more people all around the world? I think Nexus 7 is proof that there's a huge market for cheap devices that make a few compromises (like no back camera, no SD card), so I think Nexus 4 will sell great if it works as advertised, and users will just have to make-do with downloading only at 2.5 megabytes per second (like two simultaneous 1080p videos from YouTube).


    They won't have a high end cell phone at all in those places to begin with, so what's your point.
  • 2 Hide
    acadia11 , October 30, 2012 7:26 PM
    m32Google should have gave the Apple response,"You don't need LTE!"



    Apple had that response 3 years ago when you could argue lte wasn't available. Every major carrier in. US has deployed lte nationally, even regional carriers now.
  • 2 Hide
    killerclick , October 30, 2012 8:09 PM
    wemakeourfutureThe 16GB model is $349.99, which is roughly $50 cheaper than devices that like Nokia 900 that are 4G, 16GB.


    A single core CPU on an orphaned OS, 4.3" and 480x800. That's what you're comparing Nexus 4 to, really? And which Android has a quad core Snapdragon, 4.7", 1280x768 and costs even close to $350 off-contract? SGS3 is like $600 if you can find it wherever you live.

    I'm sure Google has a pretty good idea how many Android users use LTE or how much storage they use, and are making compromises accordingly.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , October 30, 2012 8:18 PM
    The first actually fair priced phone, thanks google!.. I'm going to sell one of my shares and buy 2!!

    Say goodbye to whining telecoms complaining about subsidized phones hahahaha
  • 1 Hide
    killerclick , October 30, 2012 8:20 PM
    acadia11They won't have a high end cell phone at all in those places to begin with, so what's your point.


    Nope. You're saying that if a city/region doesn't have LTE, then people who live there must be poor. That's simply not the case, there are many reasons why there may not be LTE available in an area, like regulation, technical issues, lack of competition or carrier monopoly, insufficient population density, etc.

    And I've been to Eastern Europe and Russia this summer, there are loads of people with high end phones - most either have dumb phones or expensive stuff like SGS, iPhone, etc, even in areas where you get EDGE most of the time (that's 384 kbit/s).

    Google is not stupid, they know all this and Nexus 4 is going to sell out in a matter of hours on the 13th.
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