Nexus-style HTC One with stock Android to launch within weeks
Within a few weeks HTC will launch a ‘Google Edition’ of the HTC One with stock Android software on board, just as Samsung did at Google I/O earlier this month with the Galaxy S4.
Shortly after Google revealed the Galaxy S4 Google Edition at its event we saw rumours of the same thing happening with the excellent HTC One, and the rumours have refused to die. Now Russell Holly of Geek quotes several sources who say HTC is working on such a device. Russell correctly predicted the Galaxy S4 Google Edition before it was launched, so we’re inclined to sit up and listen.
Sources have confirmed that if eventually launched, the Nexus-style HTC One will launch only in the US to begin with – just as the Galaxy S4 Google Edition has done – and could then go worldwide through Google’s Play Store.
With executives leaving left right and centre in recent weeks and sales of the HTC One being half that of its rival, the Galaxy S4, we would imagine that HTC would be willing to try other avenues to boost profits. The company has always had a strong foothold in the Android developer community, offering unlocked bootloaders with many phones that allow developers and tinkerers alike the chance to install custom software. There’s little that Android fanatics love more than stock Android, either.
On the other side of the coin, HTC would likely forgo a number of software features that it has worked hard on to distinguish its products from other Android phone makers – things like BlinkFeed, Beats Audio software and all the software trickery that adds features like HTC Zoe to the camera. Samsung has done just this with the S4 Google Edition though, so losing unique software features doesn’t seem to be the worst thing in the world.
If HTC does agree to give the HTC One Google Edition the all-clear then Holly’s sources say it will be announced within the next two weeks. No major event is scheduled by either HTC or Google in this time, so it could be a last minute affair.
Would you opt for a HTC One with plain Android, or would you prefer the standard version?