HTC has said on many, many occasions that it'll never happen... but we're hearing from multiple reliable sources that, barring a sudden change of heart, a 'Google Edition' of the HTC One is set to be announced next week.
Set to be available in the US Only - like its S4 equivalent - the device is said to use use identical hardware to the 'regular' HTC One Developer Edition. It remains to be seen whether this will impact the ability for enthusiasts to run the software on regular HTC One devices due to radio band support - once again T-Mo HSPA+ users could be out of luck. It does mean the device should pack 64GB of storage out of the box... do you still want that microSD support so bad?
It seems as though the very existence of the Google Edition device has created considerable internal turmoil at HTC. There is a deep seated belief within HTC that Sense provides the best possible Android experience and there's no reason to offer anything different - unifying behind a consistent message. HTC has always been a company however that is driven from the top and it appears as though the new device has been sanctioned by none other than Peter Chou himself, no doubt influenced by arch-rival Samsung's recent announcement. While many inside HTC don't agree that the Google Edition is the way to go - it's really happening.
A 'stock Android' version of the One is particularly interesting for a number of reasons, not least because it gives the ability to really understand what you give up when you lose Sense vs what you gain with stock Android. Of course, you'll forfeit the HTC Camera application with it's Zoe and Highlights features, you'll bid goodbye to Blinkfeed and a number of HTC apps... but in theory you should get faster updates and a 'lighter' device.
Many people have complained about the button layout on the One - a move to stock Android means the hardware buttons can easily be disabled and replaced by 'Nexus style' on screen buttons should you wish.
If Samsung and HTC in conjunction with Google can create these AOSP editions, where does this leave the Nexus program? Will Sony join the party with an official Google Edition Xperia Z?
How do you feel about a nonSense / Senseless HTC One? Share your thoughts!
Zarch1972 also contributed to this item.