We've heard rumors concerning a HTC One running core Android, just like the Galaxy S 4 that was announced at Google I/O and now, it's official. Speaking at the D11 conference, Sundar Pichai just dropped the bombshell live on stage. Pichai, who is now the head of both Android and Chrome stated that he was carrying the One with him, but that it wasn't a normal HTC One, instead it was running the same version of Android as we see on nexus devices.
This "Google Edition" of the HTC One will be available directly from Google Play for $599 from June 26th onwards. It will have full support for both AT&T and T-Mobile. Just like the Galaxy S 4 announced at I/O it doesn't appear that Google has any control over the cost of these devices but, that's to be expected. It's encouraging to see two Android flagships both available with stock Android although, this still leaves CDMA users out in the cold and it does raise questions about the future of the Nexus program.
Another thing to take into consideration is that a lot of the software that arguably makes the HTC One, the HTC One won't be present on this version of the device. Most notably, the camera software that HTC have put a lot of thought and effort into will be replaced by the stock Android interface and camera software. For some of us that's a good thing but, there's often trade offs with devices like these when running stock Android.
The "Google Edition" of the HTC One also suggests that this could be a trend going forward and that Google will be partnering with more OEMs like this. There's a good chance that this sort of thing is a direct result of Pichai's leadership of the Android team. For a long time now, he's been now as a more cordial partner than Rubin was.
The question is the HTC One with stock Android worth $599 to you? Let us know in the comments.