May, 23 2013

HTC One watermark

It’s a rumor that wont seem to die — the HTC One “Google Edition.” We’re not sure if that makes it more legitimate, or if it’s because it’s an Android fanboys wetdream. In any case, this rumor has been given new life, this time thanks to‘s Russel Holly. This is the man behind the leaked Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition, the day before it was announced at Google I/O. Going by that track record, we’re inclined to listen.

Once again, it’s being whispered from “multiple sources” that the fabled HTC One “Senseless Edition” is, in fact, a real thing and that it will launch sometime in the coming weeks, starting first with the US. It’s this very specific region that suggests it could also be made available in the Google Play Store, but that’s only speculation.

We all know the story. During the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition announcement, an HTC rep tweeted from her personal account that we could either buy the GS4 running stock Android or… “wait.” Wait for what? Well, HTC’s Senior Global Online Communications Manager Jeff Gordon was quick to address blogs taking this as a confirmation from HTC that a Google Edition One was in the works. His words? “HTC is not currently planning a ‘Nexus Edition’ of the HTC One.” Very cut and dry.

It’s true HTC is well aware of the ever growing Android modding community, a very vocal minority that demands a stock Android experience from their devices, tinkering around with software, flashing custom ROMs, and drinking chicken blood around an iPhone set afire. To help deal with these wild boys, HTC formed HTCDev — a special group of their own developers working together with the modding community. HTCDev helps flashing addicts get their next fix by releasing kernel sources, and the stock RUU safety nets.

With HTC already providing a Developer Edition of the One with a fully unlocked bootloader — is there really any need, point, or more importantly demand for an HTC One Senseless Edition? As Holly points out in his article, HTC’s best features are its camera and front facing speakers — both of which rely on HTC’s software tweaks to make them great. One could argue that by providing an HTC One Google Edition with diminished camera and audio quality, it would do nothing but hurt HTC’s image, something they’ve been working so hard at building back up with the One.

If nothing else, there are other options. If HTC could simply work with Google to include the HTC One Developer Edition into AOSP, that could be an easier, less costly route. As for a release date on this rumored HTC One running a stock Android experience, Geek’s sources claim it will be announced within the next 2 weeks and released in the summer. That means we wont have to wait long before we find out if this is rumor pans out, so we  can finally put it to rest.

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