Following right behind Google’s announcement of the Galaxy S4 Google Edition, it seems HTC is considering a stock Android variant of the One for release in the US.
HTC’s developer arm has worked long and hard at building strong relations with the Android modder community. Their efforts with the HTC Dev program, including an unlock mechanism to make it easy to flash custom software is to their credit, but the fact remains that if you want Google’s vision for Android on your HTC phone you’ve got a little bit of work ahead of you. The positive response to Google announcing a vanilla Android phone that wasn’t a Nexus was likely all the push that was needed for the conversation surrounding a vanilla HTC One to become a lot more serious inside HTC, leading to sources now claiming that a US launch of such a phone is now imminent.
It’s unclear if a stock Android HTC One would be sold in the Play Store, or how exactly it would get to consumers. Sources claim that the phone is going to be make available in the US first, just like the Galaxy S4 Google Edition, which could mean that it is being sold by Google. If HTC does release a vanilla HTC One, it will be interesting to see how the software compares to HTC’s heavily augmented version of Android. The speakers and camera on the phone have been celebrated as being special because they rely on HTC software, specifically BeatsAudio and HTC’s ImageSense software.
Sources claim this vanilla HTC One will be announced within the next two weeks, with potential release slated for sometime this summer. This falls in line with claims from HTC that production for the One will be doubling soon, as well as plan to have the HTC One updates to Android 4.2.2. in the same time frame.
If true, count me in--perhaps not for the device itself, but to instantly unlock and prepare my phone for awesome stock Jelly Bean tastiness.