The feeling of change coming to Google’s lineup of Play edition devices has been almost palpable these past couple months. There was that brief hint of a GPe Galaxy S5 back in April, and then last month we noticed half of the six devices making up the series going out of stock, no longer up for purchase. Were new models just about to arrive? Was Google ready to kill-off Play editions entirely in favor of Android Silver or some other new effort? We’re still not sure just where this is all headed, but this evening we’ve witnessed a pretty big shift occurring, as those three out-of-stock models have been removed from the Play Store listings entirely.
Google no longer displays the old HTC One (M7), Sony (Xperia) Z Ultra, or the LG G Pad 8.3 on its page of GPe phones. That leaves the One M8, Galaxy S4, and Moto G as the only remaining options. Directly accessing now-removed links to the three discontinued models reveals “no longer available for sale” messages.
Abandoning the M7 makes enough sense, considering the M8’s been available for a while now, but the other dismissals are a little hard to understand; we only saw the Z Ultra and G Pad 8.3 join the GPe family back in December, giving them a lifespan of just under seven months. Even in the fast-paced world of smartphones, that’s pretty short.
So, where do we go from here? We would love to know, but Google’s not speaking up to clarify things. A GPe Galaxy S5 still seems like a solid possibility, but beyond that, the lineup’s future is less than clear.