It’s starting to feel like every flagship Android phone now comes in two flavors: a regular and a Google Play edition. Think about it — the Samsung Galaxy S 4 comes in a Google Play edition. So does the HTC One. Last week Motorola announced that the upcoming Moto X will be available in a Google Play edition as well. But LG on Wednesday confirmed that there are no plans for a Google Play edition of its forthcoming flagship, the LG G2.
Android Community spoke with LG about a possible Play edition of the G2 on Wednesday. LG PR representative Ken Hong said, “As of right now, LG doesn’t have any plans for a Google Play edition. The focus for the G2 is penetration through carriers.” But Hong left it open, saying that this decision “Could change down the road.”
Google Play edition devices (including smartphones and tablets) are physically the same as the original device, but the software is a completely stock version of Android, stripped away of carrier and manufacturer bloatware. So essentially you’re choosing the body of the device you want, and Google is giving the device life. And since you’re running a stock version of Android, you’re likely to receive updates to new versions not long after Google Nexus device get them.
Google Play devices are helpful for developers, fans of stock Android, and anyone else that wants to receive their Android software updates as timely as possible. But considering these are unlocked devices that sell for upwards of $600 or more, the audience is fairly niche.
LG is rumored to be working on the Nexus 5 for Google, so it’s possible that there’s no Google Play edition in the works as it would eat into that phone’s sales. Then again, HTC originally said it wasn’t planning a Play edition of the HTC One, and put one out just a few months later. Perhaps LG will change its mind “down the road” as well.