The Nexus 4 Does Have LTE -- It's Just Not Switched On

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.

Update: As eagle-eyed readers have pointed out, an LTE chip is of limited use without an LTE radio. Maybe someone can hack that together, too...? [iFixit via Ars Technica]

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    no one get excited.

      No point getting excited AS YOU CANNOT BUY ONE ANYWAY!

        Sure you can, you just had to be super 1337..

        Got mine yesterday, love it :)

          I hate you!

    There have been countless examples in manufacturing history where it's been cheaper to leave something in and disable it rather than trying to take it out. The amount they lose including the LTE chip would be nothing compared to the cost of a new fabrication line/process.

    Well, this shows its all about the royalties... Most wireless chips are just a dedicated CPU that runs some low level code. It becomes expensive when you add the royalty cost for each type of network, e.g. 3G, 4G, etc...

    Obviously when Google say they can't add 4G without the help of the network operators, that means... "without the operators we can't get the 4G royalty cost down to a price that we are happy with".

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