Google took most of the mobile world by surprise with its recent announcement of a "Google Edition" of the Samsung Galaxy S 4, a device that features the same hardware as a regular Galaxy S 4 but is loaded with vanilla Android 4.2.2 rather than a TouchWiz-laden version of Jelly Bean. Now the rumor mill is claiming that we may soon see a similar device from HTC.
According to sources speaking to Russell Holly of Geek.com, HTC is considering launching a version of its One flagship smartphone with a vanilla version of Android 4.2.2. Details on the HTC One Google Edition itself and the way that it would be sold are light, but the tipsters suggest that an announcement is "imminent," possibly as soon as two weeks from now, and that the U.S. would get first dibs on the device.
While still very much a rumor at this point, Holly accurately predicted the aforementioned Google Edition Galaxy S 4 the evening before its announcement, and so his latest claim of a similar HTC One model carry a bit more weight than a typical rumor. HTC is also known as being one of the more developer-friendly manufacturers, offering users the ability to unlock the bootloaders of many of its devices and making them easier to tinker with.
Shortly after the Galaxy S 4 Google Edition was announced, HTC said that it had no plans for a similar version of its One. Of course, we've certainly seen companies shoot down rumors and then turn around and turn them into reality in the past, and that could be what happens here as well. It'd certainly be interesting to see how a vanilla Android-powered HTC One would work without HTC's custom software, and I'm betting that there are several folks out there that'd be more than happy to find out. For now, though, it may not be a bad idea to take this rumor with a grain or two of your favorite salt. Would you buy a version of the HTC One with stock Android 4.2.2?