The Nexus 4 is a giant step backwards, but not because of it's lack of LTE

The Nexus program took a giant step backwards. With the release of the Nexus 4, Google actually reversed much of the progress that they had made in bringing a clean, unfettered version of their software to as many people as possible. Compared to the Galaxy Nexus, the Nexus 4 is available on fewer carriers, can be purchased at fewer stores (for US audiences), and generally runs on networks that are not as predominant or in certain areas as fast when it comes to speed and reliability. This is ironic, given that the phone was meant to reach as large of an audience as possible given it's price.

If Google really wants to push the Nexus program as an open, unfettered version of Android aimed at mass consumers, then how could they justify essentially ignoring almost 150 million customers who are using CDMA networks? Google thinks that they can ignore Verizon or Sprint, even though they can't ignore the fact that Android adoption reached critical mass because of the CDMA networks in America.

Look, I get it that a lot of stuff on CDMA/LTE has proprietary patents and rules... but, if Google's goal was to get the Nexus 4 onto the hands of as many customers as possible, why didn't they use their significant lobbying influence to scream and yell at the FCC over how ridiculous the CDMA/LTE patents are and how it locks control of devices and consumers onto the hands of a very few. Imagine if Google was able to push the FCC or the government into allowing them to have fair and open access for their networks with an unlocked Nexus. I think that even if they sold the Nexus 4 on Sprint/Metro/Verizon and inter operable - even at $400-$500 MSRP to cover the cost of the patents - I have no doubt that a significant size of the CDMA-using population would buy it out right because just being able to tell any of these networks 'I'm not happy with my phone or service, I'll bring my own or I'll take my own equipment with me and not sign a contract' when they jack up your bill... now that would be enough to actually get them to rethink their strategy. Being able to have a device that finally breaks you from having a contract and using it on any of these carriers would completely shake-up their strategy. They would not longer have to rely on locking people in for service and would start to compete on what they should have in the first place... PRICE and SERVICE.

At this stage, none of these networks actually compete with one another and a large part of it is device and coverage lockout. You either choose to have the device you want or the coverage you need. I just hope that Google wakes up and realizes this, because having carriers continue being the gatekeepers of technology will ultimately retard growth and hurt competition for all of us.