Google kills off the last remaining Google Play Edition device in the Play Store


HTC One M8 Google Play edition

Goodbye, Google Play edition devices, we hardly knew you. The last remaining GPE device in the Google Play Store — the HTC One M8 Google Play edition — has officially been removed from the Google Play Store and with that, every last trace of Google’s failed “Google Play edition” experiment has been scrubbed from the Play Store’s device listings page.

The HTC One M8 Google Play edition officially became available for sale back in March of last year and received Android 5.0.1 Lollipop back in December. Although we don’t have official numbers, we can’t imagine too many consumers were rushing to pay $700 for a smartphone they could get on contract for less than $200.

To be clear, the phone’s listing is still there (you’ll need a direct link to find it), only now listed as “no longer available for sale.” It wont be too much longer before the URL expires and the HTC One Google Play edition officially joins the ranks of devices like the Sony Z Ultra, LG G Pad 8.3, and HTC One (M7), Samsung Galaxy S4, and Motorola Moto G Google Play editions.

As for the future of Google Play edition devices, we don’t expect to see any new additions this year. Samsung snubbed the program entirely with the Samsung Galaxy S5 and even Motorola failed to release a 2nd generation Moto G GPe. While another crop of Android flagships are just around the corner, it looks like having stock, Google supported Android versions have sadly gone the way of the dinosaur.

[Google Play Devices]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. It was an inevitability unfortunately.

  2. Sad times. The G-Pad 8.3 GPE is the tablet I own right now.

    1. Me too and I like it.

  3. #FLOP

    1. %hashtags

  4. I’m not sure what was expected. The devices were poorly(if at all) marketed and had no financing option available. At the time of their release, carriers didn’t really offer BYOD incentives.

  5. And last time I looked…Sprint was selling the M8 Harmon Kardon Edition for $359 straight up or using a $15 a month payment plan for 24 months
    That’s hard to beat…especially now, with their new 10 Line /22 Gb @ $100 less a $25 corp. discount.
    Eight of us a paying $10.71 each plus one eighth on the taxes and surcharges.
    Suddenly mobile phone service is unbelievably cheap.

    1. Only if Sprint had the network !!

    2. Thank you Tmo!!

  6. Such a shame. My Verizon Galaxy S4 running the Google Play Edition rom had been a godsend.

  7. RIP you expensive devices you. You were DOA thanks to higher than OEM pricing.

  8. Presumably replaced by the Lollipop functionality that lets the bloatware be downloaded from Play Store upon first boot instead of pre-installed in the ROM. I guess the hope is that even carrier branded devices which were close-to-stock could now be almost completely stock, reducing the need for a separate edition. Curious to see whether that will actually happen.

    1. $1000!? I cannot do this!! Not today!!

  9. Hurray. Now other than the Nexus 9 that nobody wants, google sells phones that are in abundance in play store!!!…NOT

  10. LOL!!!!! Another fail from Google!

    1. People bought them, how is that a failure?

      Some people…

      1. If it had been successful, they would have kept it going. I personally don’t find it funny, but it was a failure.

        1. I guess it just depends on how you define failure and what their goal for it was.

          1. Maybe since project Ara is coming out you’ll no longer need a GPe phone. You’d probably be more in tune with making your own phone.

            Can’t wait to have a high end Qwerty phone again.

            *patiently waiting for the HTC G3*

  11. GPE’s were for hardcore Android power users. Was never meant to sell well. How is this a “failure” exactly ? Vanilla devices are in demand for users like that, i doubt weve seen the end of STOCK Android devices.

    1. Nexus is a stock device. and it sells on contract for about the same price as other high-end phones on contract.

    2. I’d say I’m a hardcore user, but I’ve been under the impression if I really wanted AOSP or a stock experience, I’d just root instead of buying another phone. Also, since I’m on Tmo, I’m a bit more worried about having all my LTE radios. There’s always been more ease of mind with using carrier phone. My opinion, though.

  12. The author is clueless; the difference between the $700 GPE device and a $200 phone with contract is great; no bloatware for one thing

    1. So you’re suggesting $500 is an acceptable price to pay for no bloatware – when it’s easy, and free, to simply hide those bits of bloatware behind a new launcher, namely the Google Now which provides a stock android experience? More money than sense I feel?

      1. Don’t forget you can also root and remove 99% of the bloat. It’s what I did with my Note 4.

        1. I never include rooting in any situation. Mainly because it solves everything. LoL!!

      2. It’s not $500. There is no free lunch, the phone companies bundle the price of the phone into your bill. If you BYOD you get a no contract plan with a discount for BYOD. On T-Mobile they make it explicitly clear by separating the phone purchase from the service purchase. On AT&T you have to do a little math because they don’t advertise the BYOD price, but they offer it.

    2. I hate bloatware too. But to suggest it’s worth more than three times as much as the whole phone costs just to lose the bloatware is LUDICROUS!

    3. Most contract phones allow you to “Disable” carrier provided apps nowadays. You’ll of course be stuck with their modified GUI and core apps … which Motorola and Sony don’t change much

  13. I love Vanilla android phones, but this year’s Nexus 6 was too big for me.

    Nexus 5 was plagued by the boot loop button issue, having RMA’d like 3 devices, i didn’t want any of it, stupid LG produced garbage.

    Only way to appreciate Vanilla android was HTC One M8’s GPE.

    I guess with GPE dead, i’m going to turn to the new Moto X series which seems like the next best thing.

    1. the Nexus6, after you use it for a week… you’ll never want to go back to a smaller sized screen.. at least that’s how it happened to me. also, Google and Motorola does an amazing job, making this phone feel like a 5.5 inch phone, even though its 6-inches.

  14. Sadly Google is starting to loose me. I was hoping to move from my DNA to a more pure experience like I get on my Nexus 10. The Nexus 6 looks like it may be to big for my liking but at this point I thing they will be announcing the Next Nexus phone before they ever get the 6 out in stores for me to see. Big FAIL on the Nexus 6 release as always. I was excited about the Moto buy but then they dumped them and now no more GPE. :(

    1. when I was ordering the Nexus6, i was initially concerned about it being too big. However, after getting the slim Ringke case, and using the phone for a week. I have realized, that this phone isn’t as big as others are concerned about. It’s about the same size as the iPhone 6+, except with a half-inch extra screen, and it actually fits in my hands ! typing with 2 hands is faster than typing with 1 finger unless you’re swiping, then its OK to type with 1 finger. other then that there are really no complaints! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Oh, and if you see a demo unit in the store, if its attached to one of those herculean chains behind the phone, you won’t be able to actually feel how thin it feels in your hands… the phone is ergonomic with the curvature of your hands, with thin sides. it feels awsome.

    2. Are you saying you haven’t seen demo models in the stores? What’s “fail” about the release? The phone is in stores. I see it everyday at this Tmo Kiosk I walk past in the mall on my way too the food court for lunch.

  15. Did the GS4 GPE ever get lollipop? I sold mine a while ago and all but promised that it would be upgraded soon. Feel bad if it won’t happen.

      1. Nice thanks

  16. If the phones were more affordable this would have been more successful.

    1. and available. They weren’t available for most of the world.
      I also don’t get why they became more expensive than the original models. Instead, they should be cheaper, as there was less work that needed to be done on the software side (cleaner Android).

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