By Prarthito Maity | Dec 14, 2012 09:48 AM EST
Nexus 4 might be one of the most popular smartphones around and with the holiday season slowly starting creeping in, it is expected that the smartphone could once again find itself on top of the shopping list.
However, some bad news may still be on the way with Google, reportedly, starting to pull down Nexus 4 Android 4.2.x system images from its online storage area of factory images, with some fans wondering as to what’s going on.
Google’s Nexus 4 handset marks the company's first Nexus partnership with LG, and the device is essentially the LG Optimus G, with its LTE radio disabled by default. The Nexus 4’s arrival was notable for its exceptionally low price at which Google was able to offer the phone, with the 8GB model selling for just $300 without the contract obligation.
However, back to the main topic, Google has quietly withdrawn a number of Nexus 4 files from its Google Developers archives, and this includes the smartphone’s factory image and the phone’s associated binaries. Now rumors are circulating that this is the first step taken by Google in attempting to block users from accessing the handset’s hidden LTE features.
For those who are not quite familiar with the hidden LTE features, it was reported last month that the Nexus 4 can actually perform LTE, at least in Canada, on Telus with 1700/2100MHz bands.
At that time, it was reported by Pocketnow that to test the LTE probability in the device, users needed to “go into the Dialer app and input *#*#4636#*#* (that is *#*#INFO#*#*) and forcibly choose and automatic mode which also offers support for LTE. As you can see in the videos below, after the Radio disconnects all current connections it will reconnect in LTE mode, if available.”
The best guess here, an Android Central report states, “is that this might relate to the LTE situation on the Nexus 4. By changing a hidden setting, it's possible to use the N4 on LTE networks running on Band 4 (AWS), though this is not officially documented or approved by regulators.”
Moreover, if Google is preparing to patch this hidden LTE option out of the Nexus 4 (required to do to avoid falling foul of bodies like the FCC), “then clearing out earlier factory images might simply be a precaution.”
However, currently, these are all just speculations.