I'm not getting a contract-free Nexus because there is no contract-free LTE
The Verizon Galaxy Nexus is my favorite Android phone because it is the only phone to date to prove that stock Android and LTE aren't mutually exclusive. I don't want to sacrifice fast, widespread data coverage for a stock experience, and vice versa.
The only problem one can argue is the fact that it does not get it's updates from Google...it's treated the same as all the carrier-lapdog Droid phones and the delays can be directly pinned on Verizon's testing. I am ok with this. I am willing to have update delays so I can have a stock experience with the best data coverage around. Besides, as long as the bootloader is unlockable like all Nexus' are, you can root and update the phone yourself.
And before you say "I shouldn't have to root my phone to get updates." Yes, I agree with you...but the fact remains that the people that are so worried about major Android updates delays are ones that will take the time to update it themselves. The people that aren't too worried about the update system on Verizon's phones won't notice a 3 month delay for getting Jellybean because they don't care. But unlike the Gnex, most Verizon Android devices are locked down so the developer community will still be at the mercy of Verizon. So a Verizon Nexus is the only route to go for a best-of-both-world's phone.
I do not like how much power the carriers have in this country, so I am not inherently against the unlocked phone system that the Google is pushing with the Play Store. But the only way to utilize the LTE service is to buy the phone from the carrier, and unless the unlocked devices are compatible with the major carriers' LTE service, people will continue to buy their phones from the carrier. All things considered, we hate Verizon's draconian business model, but it doesn't outweigh their service. You have to admit that their roll-out of LTE has been insane and it is a great benefit for a lot of people.
For the vast majority of Americans, Verizon is synonymous with LTE. And "unlocked, contract-free" IS synonymous with "No LTE"
What do you guys think? It's no secret that it's very unlikely that Google and Verizon are going to release another Nexus phone together. Are you willing to sacrifice LTE for a stock experience with timely updates?