HTC One X+: Quad-Core Comes to America, but What Took So Long?

Just like most of you, I, too, have high hopes for the HTC One X+. This is HTC’s first quad-core Android device. Well that’s not true, the HTC One X was the first. What’s that, you say? “The HTC One X was a dual-core device, David, you must be an idiot.” Ah, but you’d be the one mistaken, although not through any fault of your own.

When the HTC One X launched in Europe back in April of 2012, it was (and still is) a quad-core device. It wasn’t till they brought it over Stateside a month later that it became a dual-core device for some unknown reason. Then when the Samsung Galaxy S III was announced shortly after and then launched in Europe, same thing happened. Quad-core for Europe, dual-core for us. What was going on? Some weird anti-American conspiracy? As with most Americans, I automatically put blame on Al Qaeda, but then quickly realized that they just didn’t have the resources to engineer such a cunning ploy. The search continued in vain.

It wasn’t until the recent announcement of the HTC One X+, that I decided to try and finally figure out this unsolved mystery. Assuming it had something to do with the chipset/internals of the devices, I contacted NVIDIA, the makers of the processor and chipset in these devices. Their response follows:

Tegra 3 has always worked with LTE as evidenced by Fujitsu currently shipping a Tegra 3 quad-core LTE phone in Japan. To US-based carriers, LTE is very important and Qualcomm has been the lead LTE modem provider. You’re now seeing an LTE-enabled Tegra 3 phone appear in the US with the HTC One X+ and we’re excited to be a part of it.

Then I asked HTC to clarify and got this response:

The simple answer to your question below is that when the HTC One X was originally launched the Tegra chipset did not support LTE connectivity, but the newer version is now able to support it.

We have a bit of a conflict now, don’t we? HTC says it’s the Tegra 3 chipset and NVIDIA (makers of the Tegra 3 chipset) say it isn’t. Who’s correct?

The chipset NVIDIA is referring to is in the Fujitsu Arrow X. Specs list the Tegra 3 quad-core processor and LTE capabilities all over the internet. But according to this, it wasn’t easy. The Tegra 3 chipset, that normally would have it’s own LTE modem on board, had to be paired with a third party LTE modem. Now that may sound pretty simple, just put another part in it and viola, problem solved. Nope. To get a new component to work you need to have software created, it costs more for the parts and labor, and it even makes the device larger (which is a big issue to some companies in a world where thinner is better). All things, that I’d say, HTC and Samsung weren’t willing to do just yet.

My guess is Fujitsu went through this trouble cause they figured it would be worth it for the extra edge over the competition in Japan, where their device was launched. And judging by the response from consumers for the device, that’s exactly what it did.

HTC and Samsung, on the other hand, didn’t want to go through the trouble of sourcing a separate LTE modem and Tegra told them they’d get the integrated LTE modem to work soon so they just figured they’d launch the original One X and Galaxy S III with the dual core chip with integrated LTE here in the States instead.
So there we go, mystery solved. No anti-American scheme, no Al-Qaeda, just simple bugs, issues, and money saving techniques as per the usual.

Curious about Quad-core? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletter (using the widget on the right side of our site). Doing an explanation of the benefits of quad-core shortly plus our review of the HTC One X+…


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