Last week at Google I/O, some had been expecting a brand new Nexus phone or tablet. That didn’t happen. The closest we got was a pure Google version of the Samsung Galaxy S4. The next logical question, then, was whether HTC would follow suit. Well, after a week of back-and-forth rumors, it looks like the company is indeed going to join in on the fun with a “Google Edition” version of the popular HTC One.

The alleged confirmation comes from Android Central, after reports from MoDoCo and Geek first broke news of the device. What do we know about it? Well, it should be announced in the next week or two. It will (more or less) be the same HTC One we’ve already put through the paces – only ditching HTC’s Sense 5.0 UI for the latest version of stock Android. Like the Google Edition GS4, it will probably have an unlocked bootloader.

Chances are, the Google HTC One will be priced just like the Nexus edition of the Galaxy S4: off-contract and through Google Play. So don’t expect it to come cheap. The Google GS4 will cost US$650. The One could potentially go for a little cheaper, since the unlocked model straight from HTC costs only $575. But, either way, this isn’t the phone for customers who like subsidized pricing.

For an extremely vocal minority

Ultimately these Google Edition devices will get a lot more attention from tech blogs, forums, and the internet in general than they will from customers at large. Android and smartphone geeks salivate over news like this. Your mother and co-workers probably won’t.

But that doesn’t mean that these Google Edition phones won’t make a lot of very passionate people very happy.

Not everyone likes manufacturer UIs like Sense and TouchWiz (and the carrier crapware that often accompanies them). Always running the latest version of Android is another sweet bonus. Soon you'll be able to do all of that on two of the best smartphones of 2013 – no rooting required.

Sources: Android Central, MoDaCo, Geek