A couple of weeks back, a shoddy rumor reared its head claiming Google would bring LTE to the Nexus 4 and keep it around as a low cost alternative to the new and improved Nexus 5. Back then, we dismissed that rumor as the figment of someone’s fevered imagination, but it’s now making a comeback thanks to a new Bluetooth SIG filing. Or is it?
Engadget spotted a fresh certification document of the Nexus 4 in the database of the Bluetooth Special Interest group, the body where all devices using the Bluetooth standard must register for certification.
The document pertains to the 1.1 hardware revision of the LG-E960, which savvy users will recognize as the Nexus 4. The description of the device got the pulse of the Android community racing: “LGE LTE Mobile Phone (LG-E960)”. Is this proof that an LTE variant of the Nexus 4 is indeed coming?
While it may seem so at first blush, the truth may be far more prosaic. As Ron Amadeo of Ars Technica notes in this Reddit thread, the 1.1 revision of the Nexus 4 is already old, with the latest revision currently on the market being 1.3. Indeed, back in May, when the Nexus 4 was recertified for Bluetooth 4 compatibility, it was already listed as Rev 1.1.
Another clue that the LTE Nexus 4 is just wishful thinking is the lack of updates to the FCC documentation. The FCC is the body that actually licenses LTE devices, not the Bluetooth SIG, so it’s there that we should find tracks of any incoming LTE Nexus 4.
Finally, the model number listed in the filing is identical to that of the regular version of the Nexus 4, meaning that Google and LG won’t put out a new model, and would simply update its firmware to activate LTE. This isn’t very plausible – while the Nexus 4 does have some LTE capabilities, they are limited to AWS bands, greatly reducing the number of users that could make use of it. Furthermore, if all it took to enable LTE was a software update, why would Google have waited for so long?
So, if LTE isn’t coming to the Nexus 4, what’s up with the certification? It’s hard to say why LG recertified the device now, but the LTE mention appears to be just a mistake of LG or the Bluetooth SIG.
The Nexus 5 is rumored to launch by the end of the month, so it’s not long before we get an official rebuttal (or confirmation) of the Nexus 4 LTE rumor. Stay tuned.