Following that iFixit teardown of the Nexus 4, it looks like LG and Google did kit out their new flagship with LTE after all. There’s a Qualcomm multi-band LTE chip in there — it’s just not active. But why whack in a 4G chip and not bother to use it?
There are a couple of theories. The first is network restriction: perhaps one or more mobile carriers have called dibs on an LTE-equipped version to be “released” at a later date. Another theory, as suggested by Ars Technica is that LG just left the chip in there as a throw-over from the Optimus G, on which the Nexus 4 is based, to reduce manufacturing streams. That’s possible, but why put a chip in there that costs you extra cash if you’re not going to use it?
On the bright side, perhaps now we’ll have a reason for people to actually root stock Android. Maybe, just maybe, someone will be able to activate that dormant LTE chip and gift the Nexus 4 with 4G. That really would make Google’s flagship absolutely killer.