“Google Editions” of popular smartphones appear to be all the rage as Android Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai announced the HTC One, running stock Android software, at the D11 conference on Thursday.
The HTC One Google Edition will be available at the Google Play store for $599 starting June 26, which is the same day that the Google Edition Samsung Galaxy S4 will be released. Samsung and Google surprised everyone at the I/O conference keynote on May 15 when Hugo Barra, vice president of Android Product Management at Google, announced the stock Android Galaxy S4. This quickly sparked speculation that HTC would release a stock Android version of its new flagship smartphone.
It appears that HTC employee Leigh Momii’s hint on Twitter was right on the money, despite damage control from Senior Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon that indicated there would be no ‘Nexus Edition’ of the HTC One.
According to Pichai, developing Google Edition devices is a priority for the Android, which may suggest that even more popular smartphones many be outfitted with the “Nexus experience” of stock Android systems in the future. Devices running pure Android not only have the benefit of shipping without their manufacturers UI (in this case HTC Sense 5) but also automatically receive system updates directly from Google.
“We’re making Android the operating system that is consistent across all of these devices,” Pichai said at D11.
The Google Edition HTC One will sell with 32GB of internal storage. While this HTC One will work on GSM cellular networks, possibly indicating availability on carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T, it will initially be available only in the U.S. The device will also run Android 4.2.2, which partially confirms another rumor as many fans have been anxious for a system update from the HTC One’s native Android 4.1.2.