We've seen enough rumours and independent confirmations from other websites to tell us that the HTC One Google Edition, a version of the flagship HTC smartphone without the company's Sense interface, is coming.
Pocket-lint has now learnt, from sources familiar with the matter, that not only will HTC be releasing a HTC One with stock Android, but the numbers are also going to be limited - very limited.
Although our source doesn't have an exact figure on the number of handsets to be made available, our secret squirrel is saying that HTC will release "around 1 per cent of total sales of the device so far" as a tester to see what the uptake is like.
Earlier in the month HTC announced that it had sold around 5 million HTC One smartphones, suggesting that our source's "1 per cent" could be as little as 50,000 devices in real terms globally. That's not that many to go around.
Rumours of a HTC One Google Edition, or Nexus Edition depending on who you talk to, fired-up following the announcement by Google that it was to start selling a Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Edition with stock Android instead of what is already on sale with Samsung's TouchWiz interface and plethora of dedicated Samsung apps.
Now fans of the "superior" handset are wanting HTC to make one for them too. Selling a stock Android HTC One is a very daunting option for the company because no matter what happens it is damned if it does and damned if it doesn't.
If a stock Android version of the flagship phone is a success then HTC would have to question why it invests so heavily in creating its own Sense user interface when people seemingly don't care.
On the other hand, if the company doesn't launch a stock version of the HTC One, no matter how small, then it has missed an opportunity - an opportunity, given its recent financial results, that it can't really afford to turn down.
It seems that HTC has opted for the latter choice, but in small enough numbers that it shouldn't affect overall sales of the original HTC One, but still keep the Android faithful happy.
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