Google is no longer selling Google Play Edition Android phones

Google appears have given up on the Google Play Edition program, which offered versions of popular Android running a Nexus-like version of the operating system.

Top devices like the Samsung Galaxy and HTC One handsets had gone on sale SIM-free running ‘raw Android’ OS, with the custom UI elements ditched for the last couple of years.

However, SlashGear has been keeping tabs on the Play Store listings and noticed that the HTC One M8 Google Play edition has been removed from sale.

The Google Play Store in the US is now only selling Nexus smartphones and tablets and while the HTC One M8 is still in attendance, Google is saying it’s ‘no longer available for sale.’

Google is yet to make a statement on whether it has officially dropped the scheme, but it now appears unlikely the firm will place any new devices up for sale.

The Google Play Editions had been available in the US only and despite the SIM-free price points, had proved popular among developers and those who prefer the stripped down software. Manufacturer user interfaces like HTC Sense and Samsung’s TouchWiz have split opinions among smartphone users.

Read more: Android 5.0 Lollipop review

Google Play Editions had allowed users to choose their favourite hardware and enjoy a Google centric experience without rooting their device.

These handsets are also at the front of the queue when the Android software updates land, so folks wishing to stay ahead of the curve will have to grab Nexus devices in the future.

Whether the gradual disappearance of the program has anything to do with the rumoured introduction of an Android Silver initiative remains to be seen.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly review everything we recommend, using industry standard tests to evaluate products. We’ll always tell you what we find. We may get a commission if you buy via our price links. Tell us what you think – email the Editor