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HTC One Google handset will be a limited edition

gadgets Updated: May 29, 2013 17:58 IST

AFP
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Taiwanese phone-maker HTC is expected to limit its run of pure Android handsets to just 50,000 examples.


Reports that HTC is going to launch a Google Edition of its flagship smartphone, the HTC One, have been getting the Android community very excited in recent weeks. What started out as a rumor several weeks ago, and one that was initially denied by the company, has since received off-the-record confirmation. However, Pocket Lint reports that there's a catch. The company plans to limit the run of phones to "around one percent of total sales of the device so far." Therefore, as 5 million HTC Ones have been sold since its official launch a month ago, that equates to a mere 50,000 phones that will drop the company's own interface, features and third-party apps in favor of an Android Jelly Bean-only interface.

Such a limited run will no doubt increase the phone's desirability -- tech blog Geek estimates that there is a 5 million-strong market for Android phones that pair the latest hardware specs with the latest version of the operating system plus the promise that when the next version or update to Android comes along, the device will automatically receive it.

And although such a handset already exists -- namely the LG-made Nexus 4 -- its specifications can't match those of the HTC One, especially when it comes to mobile connectivity. The Nexus 4 doesn't support 4GLTE, meaning that users have to connect to the internet via the much slower 3G network or via wi-fi when near a hot spot.

However, dropping HTC's own features would rob consumers of some excellent touches, such as its blink-feed news service and its Beats By Dr Dre music processing capabilities.

Still, despite the emphasis that Samsung (every Android phone-maker's biggest competitor) has put on its own in-house apps and innovations in marketing its latest flagship, the Galaxy SIV, it announced on May 15 that it is rolling out a pure Android version of the phone. Exclusive to the US market, it will be available via Google Play from June 26 and comes with a huge $650 price tag.

There is currently no word as to how much a vanilla Android version of the HTC One will cost but it is expected to make its official debut this summer.