Select Google Play Edition devices which the Mountain View company sells through its own US storefront have stopped being listed all of a sudden. Products which have been axed include GPEs of the Sony Xperia Z Ultra, the LG G Pad 8.3 and the HTC One (M7).
This leaves just the HTC One M8, the Motorola Moto G and the Samsung Galaxy S4 Google Play Editions to occupy space in the section. And moreover, the latter handset has been out of stock since June this year. Rumor has it that new stocks of this Samsung device are not being ordered because the Galaxy S5 is soon to receive the GPE treatment, leaving it to replace the older model.
Google Play Editions are usually devices made by third-party manufacturers which are granted the stock Android treatment like that on Nexus handsets. There have been several rumors of the possibility of the phasing out of this program in favor of Android Silver, but nothing concrete has emerged so far.
Android Silver will be somewhat identical to the Android One project which was unveiled at this year’s I/O. It will have Google dictating to high-end manufacturers the exact set of hardware that will best suit the stock version of Android software. Android One is practically the same thing, but for low-end handsets and the first batch of it will start appearing in the form of devices made by Micromax, Spice and Karbonn later this year.
As of now, the disappeared Google Play Editions are showing no signs of coming back online on the US Play Store.