Today Google started some spring cleaning on its storefront for Android apps, games, and mobile devices known as the Google Play Store by removing some key devices from the inventory. Last month we reported that multiple Google Play Edition smartphones and the LG G Pad 8.3 GPe tablet all went out of stock, but now they’re gone completely.
Last year Google and Samsung shocked many by announcing and releasing a Galaxy S4 Google Play Edition smartphone. Offering the same hardware as the flagship device from Samsung, only running stock Android like the Nexus 4 and current Nexus 5. It was a popular device, and was eventually followed by Google Play Edition smartphones from HTC, Motorola and Sony, as well as a tablet by LG.
Lately multiple reports and rumors have suggested Google could be preparing to offer a new Nexus 8 tablet, as well as deliver a Galaxy S5 Google Play edition, but neither have arrived nor been confirmed. However, some major changes to the Google Play Store devices list today has the rumor mills churning.
One of the many benefits of owning a Google Play Edition device is the promise of timely updates. Google ensures they’ll receive the latest Android updates within two weeks of them arriving for Nexus smartphones and tablets, rather than the 4-6 month (or longer wait) from manufacturers and carriers.
Last month the HTC One (M7), Sony Xperia Z Ultra and the LG G Pad 8.3 Google Play Edition devices all randomly went from being in stock and available from Google, to out of inventory. Simply suggesting they’ll never return, rather than just being temporarily out of stock. This initial change led many to think a new Nexus 6 or Nexus 8 tablet would be announced at Google I/O, but as we know, that never happened.
Today in a shocking and surprise move Google has completely removed all of the above mentioned devices from its website. Signaling that those devices will never be available again from Google.
The remaining three Google Play Edition phones available to consumers are the HTC One M8 which was announced and released back in March, the Motorola Moto G budget device, and the aging but apparently still popular Samsung Galaxy S4 GPe.
Last week Google’s own website started teasing the Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition smartphone, but so far they’ve yet to announce or release it to the public. Being the first to offer a Google Play edition device in the Galaxy S4, many anticipated the Galaxy S5 doing the same, but so far it has yet to surface. If Samsung and Google have something in store, it could surface sooner rather than later.
With rumors of Android Silver looming and even talks of an upcoming Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 8 tablet, Google Play Edition devices could soon be a thing of the past. It’s hard to tell based on a few changes to the Google Play Store, but it appears as if Google’s slowly getting rid of stock, and could potentially be taking a different direction in the near future with Nexus and Android Silver devices only.
We’ve heard a few small reports of the Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition coming soon, not to mention there is a chance consumers may also be able to get the brand new LG G3 in a Google Play Edition. Could Google be making room for the next wave of GPe and Nexus devices? All said and done, we’ll simply have to wait and see.