The Tegra 3 was the first quad-core processor to hit the mobile market late last year, but it had one glaring hole: no LTE support. As it turns out, with carriers like AT&T and Verizon (soon Sprint, too) actively running high-speed LTE networks, people want phones with LTE. So in turn carriers put that support in their highest-end handsets. And once again, they also like to put the most capable parts in their high-end phones, the very things that make them high-end. The Tegra 3 processor is a high-end part, but is hindered by the fact that it doesn’t support next-gen networks.
One prime example would be the HTC One X. It launched internationally not too long ago, with the Tegra 3 chip on board. It’s now slated to hit AT&T next week, but with a Qualcomm S4 instead. This is due to the lack of LTE support, and the fact that AT&T wants the One X to run on their LTE network. I don’t know why NVIDIA doesn’t have that support already, and honestly don’t care, but it’s going to cost them some serious business.
NVIDIA will in fact bring LTE support to the chipset, as we have just learned, but it won’t be till at least Q4 of this year. In the phone world, that’s a very, very long time. And after that much time, who will even want the Tegra 3 anymore? It will most likely be outdated by the new Exynos processor, and Tegra chips have historically been a weaker chipset. Until then, it looks like they’re sticking to the WiFi tablet market. Good luck to you, NVIDIA.