first_imgGoogle’s new line of Android devices, the Nexus line, have brought a whole new wave of technology to the mobile ecosystem. The screen on the Nexus 10 offers the same resolution as the new Retina MacBook Pro, complimented by the impressive Nexus 7 and Nexus 4. The only thing that seems to be missing from the entire Nexus line is support from LTE networks.The Nexus fans, consumers who must have the latest and greatest from Google, are going to buy the phone regardless. While the users in markets that have had LTE for some time now are quite unhappy, the $299 price tag for the Nexus 4 seems to be encouraging users to consider looking at contract free or pre-paid solutions.The original purpose behind the Nexus program was to create a device that was carrier agnostic. If you wanted to move from one carrier to another, you wouldn’t have to worry about buying a new device. With the Nexus One, there wasn’t much of a threat. HTC still had to make multiple versions to support multiple carriers. The same happened for the Nexus S, especially when it came to Sprint. Finally, the pentaband Galaxy Nexus arrived with aspirations of reaching this goal. The only problem was the price, as carriers were still offering subsidized phones for half the cost of buying the GSM Galaxy Nexus outright.With the $299 Nexus 4, Google has released a high end device for the same price that the carriers are offering subsidized phones.The tag line for the Nexus 4, “totally wireless”, is fairly telling. It’s not quite as direct as “no strings attached” but still drives the message home. In fact, the Nexus 4 comes in $50 cheaper than pre-paid carrier Straight Talk sells the Samsung Galaxy S2, a phone that is one full generation behind in every way. Google has made it cost effective to purchase a phone outright, which means all a user needs to do is plug in a SIM card from a pre-paid vendor and in seconds have a modern phone on a contract free network. These pre-paid plans start at around $45 per month and several of them offer unlimited HSPA+ data.The Nexus consumer is a fairly atypical customer. These are connected consumers who are in tune with the tech industry. The outrage at a lack of LTE on this device is matched only by the speed in which they can post the sale of their Galaxy Nexus on Swappa, eBay, and Craigslist. These are consumers who need the latest and greatest from Google, and aren’t willing to compromise with the carriers already when it comes to things like wireless tether or what ROM is run on their phone. These are pro-sumers, and the idea of leaving a carrier for a phone is not a strange concept to many of them.If you take a look at the Play Store, Google has left plenty of room on their website to include more items. They could fill those spots with LTE variants of the Nexus 4, should the carriers come to an agreement, or maybe as the rumors have suggested open the Play Store to manufacturers who are more willing to play ball with the carriers.Google seems to have pretty clearly announced with the Nexus launch that they are done trying to make things work out to everyone’s advantage. Their attempt at compromise with Verizon and Sprint didn’t work out, so Google has opened the door for pre-paid solutions to come in and take these customers off the hands of carriers that refuse to get onboard.last_img