Google I/O’s opening keynote hasn’t come with the flurry of device announcements we have seen in past years, but the one new piece of hardware they did show off is a doozy. The rumors were true: we will soon see a Samsung Galaxy S4 running stock Android. The hardware will support AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks, but should be the same as the version currently available (we’re guessing this is the Snapdragon model). But that’s not even the biggest aspect of the news.
This special edition Galaxy S4 will only be available direct from the Google Play Store. It will ship unlocked for $649 and is available starting June 26th. Sans the announcement of a new platform version, the device will feature Android 4.2 Jelly Bean out of the box in all of its stock glory. No TouchWiz. Just the way Google intended. Oh, and all updates will come direct from Google as soon as they are available.
Unfortunately for attendees at this year’s I/O, Google won’t be treating all in the audience to a free phone. Bummer.