At Google I/O we learned that a stock Android version of the Galaxy S4 is coming, and now HTC may follow suit. Rumors suggest that HTC has a build in its pipeline for an HTC One running the standard version of Android 4.2.2 without HTC’s Sense skin.
The news comes from Geek.com’s Russell Holly, who claims that “multiple sources” are saying that HTC has plans to launch a stripped-down version of its flagship handset. It’s unclear if this stock Android One would be sold through the Google Play Store or through HTC, but sources allegedly say that it will become available in the US first.
While stock Android is certainly a selling point for some users, it will be interesting to see how the vanilla version of these two flagship phones fare in the market. The HTC One, for instance, is typically praised for its Beats Audio technology, new camera features and BlinkFeed, but these additions will be missing from the stock Android version. The same is the case with the Galaxy S4, which comes with a slew of new software features such as its S Health fitness suite and robust photo editing tools that have been advertised as the phone’s selling point.
If manufacturers continue to release stock Android versions of their flagship handsets, Google’s line of Nexus smartphones may have some stiff competition. Until now, the Nexus 4 and its predecessors were the only high-end devices that ran on pure Android and were the first to get all of Google’s mobile OS updates. Now, however, users will soon get a similar experience on the Galaxy S4.
There’s no telling if there’s any truth to this rumor, but Holly has leaked correct information in the past. After all, Geek.com was the first website to report that a stock Android version of the Galaxy S4 would be announced at Google I/O.