HTC Considering “Google Edition” One Stock Android Release In The United States?

HTC-One-29-660x438

With the release of the vanilla Android Galaxy S 4 edition right around the corner, attention has turned back to HTC and questions surrounding a possible HTC One vanilla Android release. With five million devices sold, the One is a beautiful smartphone with a great camera, awesome speakers and it’s easily one of the best devices we’ve seen come out of Taiwanese manufacturer.

HTC has denied publicly that a One vanilla Android is on the table, but a new report from Geek.com suggests that’s not really the case. We’re paying close attention to this but it was Russell Holly and Geek.com that called the Galaxy S 4 vanilla Android edition the night before Google I/O — surprising just about everyone.

Barring the price tag for a moment, the press has been largely favorable on the release of a non-Nexus device that comes with stock Android via Google’s Play Store. Perhaps that was all the momentum HTC needed to restart the conversation in their corporate hallways.

According to their sources, Geek.com suggests the phone would be available first in the US ala the Galaxy S 4 edition which would make it sold through Google. With HTC highlighting Sense-software as a major reason the camera (ImageSense) and Boomsound (BeatsAudio) speakers are so wonderful, it would be interesting to see how HTC works those into a stock Android device.

If HTC couldn’t release the device without providing for a lower quality camera and sound experience, they are better off not releasing it at all. No sense (pun intended) in tainting the One name. Another notable point is the idea that Samsung had a hole in their lineup for developer editions, where HTC already sells a dev edition HTC One. Mind you that device doesn’t cover both AT&T and T-Mobile HSPA+/LTE frequencies ala Google Edition Galaxy S 4, so it’s a little less attractive on the T-Mobile end.

Geek.com sources claim the device will be announced sometime with the next two weeks, with a “potential” release this summer. Their claim is supported by Paul O’Brien of Modaco, a well-known industry insider who also claims “multiple reliable sources” are pointing at a “Google Edition” HTC One announcement for next week.

Having a choice of both the HTC One and Galaxy S 4 as “Google Edition” devices would be fantastic for Android customers, even if the price tag limits the number of buyers.

Geek.com, Modaco

 

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  • Nate 44434321

    To really be a “Google Edition” and get updates directly from Google, it HAS to have the blessing AND support from Google. Until Google says it will, it is all rumors..

    • tomarone

      Then they can just call it the ‘One Vanilla’.

      • 0neTw0

        Or the HTC vanilla one.

    • NuShrike

      Exactly! Meaningless unless Google will directly support it. Otherwise, another G2 situation.

  • LC

    How about HTC just focuses on increasing the inventory for the phone that has already launched, and then set their eyes on modifying it.

    Just a thought.

  • http://about.me/daylondeon Deacon

    losing features is never good despite how crap Touchwiz and Sense may be to people. on aesthetics alone though i’d choose a One stock phone over a Galaxy stock phone. if nothing separates them but design.

  • RefarmAllPCSNowPlease

    Has anyone thought of wishing for a Google Edition iPhone 5?

    • http://www.facebook.com/5hoby Shoby De Vinci

      Roflmao yeah, see everyone is coming up with google edition phones :D
      why not apple?!?

    • Dakota

      Well you can already get pretty much every Google app on an IPhone so you often can get a lot of the best of both worlds. Even Google Now is on iPhone – goggles, maps, translate, gmail , youtube and on and on…No Siri coming to Android. I realize the companies have different business strategies but just saying

  • Garrett

    I’d sell my Nexus 4 to buy this. (Depending on not-yet-disclosed details)

  • tomarone

    Maybe they could also make one that’s somewhat smaller and cheaper, like around 4 inch, so normal human mortals can use it as an everyday device? That would be helpful.

    • Garrett

      Seems that “normal human mortals” have no problem with the current 4.5-5″ phones. :P

      • tomarone

        How about the rest of us? I’m just kidding, but there are plenty who want something to carry CONVENIENTLY around in the pocket. That’s what I”m commenting about :()
        That’s cheaper. (like $130 for the Lumia 4 incher?)

        • Garrett

          For about six months after I switched to the Galaxy Nexus (4.6″ screen) from my HTC Sensation (4.3″ screen), I was convinced that 4.3″ was the sweet spot. Anything bigger than that was just too huge and difficult to use one-handed. “I’d pay top dollar for a top-of-the-line phone in a small 4-4.3 inch form factor” is what I used to say.

          After getting used to the GNex’s screen, I could never go back to 4.3″ or below. It doesn’t sound like such a big difference on paper, but in actual usage, it’s much nicer to have all that screen space. Pretty much everything I do on my phone benefits from a larger screen.

          I do own that Lumia that you’re thinking of (Lumia 521) and I can’t get used to the tiny screen. I mean, it is nice to have a little phone to carry around, but the benefits don’t outweigh the disadvantages. Everything feels so cramped and so little data can be shown on the screen at a time. Some of that can be attributed to WP8′s “let’s add lots of space between everything” design philosophy, but I’m sure I’d still feel the same way if it were running Android.

          I can see why some people would want to have a smaller phone though; not everyone wants to carry around a mini tablet in their pocket. I hope that someday phone manufacturers will give people that option. Until then, we’re stuck with the “bigger is better” way of thinking.

        • tomarone

          It’s not a matter of what is good but what is necessary.
          Some people need a 4 inch phone. I could use a 5.5 inch myself but I have to buy phones for others in the family one is 12 years old and cannot carry around a 5 inch thing in his pants.
          I agree with ‘what you want’ and what ‘works for you’ I am just saying, there is a MARKET for 4 inch versions of these great devices!

        • Garrett

          Yep, there definitely is a market for those smaller devices. Carriers/OEMs just don’t see it or want to stick with what’s currently working for them.

        • tomarone

          I’m just thinking like cars, they have one, make some little changes to it and see it as another model. Maybe they can’t do that.

  • squiggleslash

    I love the HTC devices I’ve seen so far and it would be good to see this attitude across the board, not just with select devices like the One.

    I’m itching to get rid of my Galaxy Nexus. The software might be (occasional update screwing things up excepting) nice, but it’s not the device I want. The HTC One probably isn’t either, but if this type of things takes off, perhaps a phone with a decent battery life and a real keyboard might actually be viable. Outside of one hacked with CyanogenMod of course!

    • Dakota

      I dont understand why all Android phones dont just come with an on/off button for the Android skins. Let the customer decide and or compare whether they want those features or not. It could also let them maybe turn it on if they wanted to use a specific software feature and then turn it off. It would still give the manufacturers a way to distinguish the phone – not to mention they can always distinguish it with the hardware, camera, processors, etc. I always feel the more consumer choice, the better – and if Android is supposed to be all about customization…then embrace that all the way.

      Btw, this is off topic but hopefully one of you can answer this. If you have apps such as games that require you to complete levels to get to the next one, if you buy a new phone, is there any way to transfer all that progress so you dont have to start from scratch. Ive been told the answer is NO unless the app required you to log in with a user account. My understanding is that ios doesnt work that way. Some people have said this can work with an SD card…I dont know if thats true but regardless , with more phones not coming with SD cards, how does this work? I hate to be on level 100 or 1000 of a game, and then find out that if I get a new phone, I lose all of that. I wouldnt want to waste my time and get bored doing all of that again. Is this just one more fragmentation problem…even if youre going from an S3 to an S4 or a GNex to a Nex4?

      • squiggleslash

        There are apps that can transfer over saved game states etc in some cases, however, those apps require you root your phone first. And typically rooting your phone wipes the phone clean.

        Google announced in their latest keynote (earlier this week? Or was it last week, it’s been a blur) that they are implementing a “Saving game state to the cloud” API in the forthcoming release of Android, but it’s not here yet, and it’ll require the game actually support the feature. Beyond that, you’re stuck with the few games that implement it themselves, and the only ones I’ve seen only do so if you’re prepared to give up some social networking information. Urgh.

        • Jarobusa

          Actually this is part of Google Play services and it is already on my HTC EVO LTE.

  • Evan Rosenberg

    Seems like a waste to me. Anyone who cares that much could buy the developer edition and root it. I wouldn’t want an HTC One without the BoomSound drivers and HTC Zoe (I could live without BlinkFeed, but I do enjoy it.)

    • Hoggles

      That’s true Evan… same as the S4 Google edition, The One will be missing all the hardware goodies, even though the hardware is there. Devs will jump in & hopefully add mods that will utilize Boomsound / S4′s sensors & both phones awesome camera ability. The BIG positive about an official Google release for both devices, is that ALL the drivers will be there for basic functions. Ported AOSP/CM ROMs almost always have something that doesn’t work…BT, video output etc. I love skinned Android, but am very excited about a fully functional stock ROM on my Tmo S4 :)

      Cheers!

    • Dakota

      The ‘average’ consumer doesnt know how to root or is afraid of it…But then again , does the average consumer know or care about pure Android? I think Google should have made a major advertising campaign for the Nexus 4. THe price makes it a steal and could really save people money. I never saw one ad, and if I hadnt read it on some tech blogs, I would have never even heard of it. When Ive told people they could get an unlocked phone that is pretty high quality and can use it on a cheap prepaid plan, they are shocked. A phone at 50% of Samsung and HTC is a big deal….If they can deliver a next generation at the same price, they really should push the marketing plan so its just not Android enthusiasts or developers that know about it

  • Dakota

    So I guess that would be the phone without Blinkfeed? I would like to hear accurate information about when/if there will be a new Nexus…What features it will have. I assume LTE is a given and hopefully a better camera. Im pretty satisfied with my Galaxy Nexus but the camera sucks…If I go on a trip, I cant rely on it. I also wish the volume were higher…I cant believe how low the speaker sounds even when on high

  • MmmKay

    If this stock version trend persists, I hope Tmobile immediately uploads all their valuable apps to the Play Store for easy access to all their widely used apps.

    • Herb

      Most of them are there. T-Mobile has been going after AT&T customers for a long time, so there is support for non-T-Mobile phones.

  • Don Kim

    There are pros and cons about Google edition S4 or One.
    Pros? Don’t need to root or unlock the bootloader of your phone to experience stock android.
    There are a lot more people who do not root their phones.
    Unlocked flagship device.
    No carrier exclusive bs I never use it apps on your phone.
    Cons? It will be missing all the cool new feautres on TouchWiz or Sense.
    Whether it’s Air View, Smart Scroll, the new camera features, etc.
    You won’t see it on Google version.

    • Caerolle

      Ni Wifi calling either.

      • the2000guy

        Thats the main reason I havent consider to buy the google S4

      • http://www.facebook.com/randall.lind Randall Lind

        I don’t see what the big deal with wifi calling? If T-MO can make an app downloadable for iphone then why not Android? I just don’t get it.

        • Will

          Adding Wifi calling is not just downloading an app. There needs to be a hook in the operating system for it to capture the “phone” call and reroute it over Wifi instead of sending it over the cell network. iOS does not currently have this capability and probably will not ever have it since Apple will not give up control of the base phone systems.

          Have a stock Android system does not mean that you will get updates. I have a G2 that is still stuck on Android 2.3.4 even though it does not have any overlay. If you want the latest and greatest, eventually you will have to keep buying newer phones.

  • tomnewtn

    I’ll go for this. Prefer stock, and with this build it’s a winner.

  • Graham Blackadder

    My nexus 4 will do me perfectly well. It’s got more than enough goodies and features that work perfectly. Stripping sense and Twiz from these other phones means they lose some features….. Gotta ask how good compared to their original state will these phones be once they lose some of their gimmicky bollocks. Least the nexus was designed to be stock from jump.

    • steveb944

      Isn’t it the same concept as the flagship LG device? They will still be phenomenal devices as Vanilla Android is the best imo.

      Price would be the main factor as there shouldn’t be a premium charged for a Manufacturer ‘clean’ device.

  • Gman87

    Someone help me with this question…. on pure android CAN you actuallu transfer app to SD?? I been on samsung so long I dont know if it was samsung that took that option out or what. Someone help me I wanna buy the s4 but 9 gigs is bs I need to be able to use my 64 gb card would this be enabled on the google edition? Is this something google took off completely?

    • steveb944

      NO. Current version of Android does not have apps to SD. Wait to see what Samsung does to clean up their bloat, otherwise go for the ‘Nexus’ S4 as it’ll be clean of the crap Samsung throws in

      • Adrayven

        It’s an Android limitation and one of the arguments Google uses to justify leaving out SD slots on the Nexus units.. They claim it saves money(licensing), you have the cloud, and it confuses users when they try to use the SD for apps as most can’t go there or if they do install on SD and swap cards, it breaks the app they try to use and causes more confusion..

        Honestly, most people don’t understand that.. SD is cool for backups and media, but really not a good place for Apps. So I can understand Googles stance on that. honestly, flash memory is so cheep, only reason we don’t see larger built in storage is because they all want us to use the Cloud. lol

        Funny really.

        Apps/Games are so big now though, we really should not see phones with less that 32gb, maybe even 64 or more..

    • Noel

      I know from my experience with the N1, you could put some apps on the SD card but most or all Google apps as well as most major apps, reside on the internal memory.

  • steveb944

    Dang I love their hardware so I think I would make the jump. Nexus+HTC=Heaven

    • http://twitter.com/SParKlngCyaNide SparklingCyanide

      As a current htc One owner let me tell you, you won’t regret it. This hardware is unbelievable and although this is the very first Sense that is actually pretty good and QUICK, if it were stock I think it would be even more attractive to that many more People.

      • Matthew Mueller

        Do you think that you would miss the features like BlinkFeed or Zoe camera capabilities? I kind of doubt that stock Android would come with these.

        • Noel

          They might make it in a way that u can get those functions activated as a separate update or make them available at the play store for download. I would think HTC can do some tweaking for boom sound, beets and even the Ultrapixel cam to work independent of stock Android.

  • WW

    Seems to me a pure Android version would be easy for OEM’s. I would think that they have to get “standard” Android working on a handset before modding/skinning/bloating it.

  • Goliath King

    WHERE IS THE BLACK ONE!

  • Josue

    I’m sure they already have a vanilla HTC one

  • jose

    I will definitely go out a purchase a nexus like htc one. I have been using a l9 for the last 5 months without any issues. I recently updated my l9 to
    4.1.2 and it’s been awesome. I just purchased a extended battery 3080 mlhp and it last 2 days between charges .I average about 500 mb of data per day.

  • slipperysalamander

    this is the first article ive read in years that has made me even consider an htc device. (sense sucks)

    • jose

      It’s a great device. I also recommend the LG l9 i have been using my l9 for about 6 months without any issues I recently updated it to 4.1.2 and it’s been awesome. Check it out you will not be disappointed. I also purchased Otto box case from T-Mobile
      For protection purposes.

    • http://twitter.com/thecityboy781 Josue

      a vanilla One sounds interesting

  • Will

    They should call it the HTC Nexus One. Oh wait, they already had that device and it is now abandoned by both HTC and Google. Personally, I vote for HTC One Naked. Or how about HTC One Buff.

  • Me

    If nothing else hopefully this “Google Edition” will change HTC minds on making another nexus device. Personally I think that HTC can take the M4 stock it and charge 350-400 for a 16GB model and call it the Nexus X or whatever. I’d buy it.

  • Graham Blackadder

    finally an article from phonedog which explains the difference between and ” nexus” and a google experience. this is aimed at the people who still to this day dont get it ………

    http://www.phonedog.com/2013/05/30/don-t-confuse-google-edition-with-nexus/