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It Seems Odd That Most of the Google Play Edition Devices are Out of Inventory

Within the last month, four of the six Google Play Edition devices have been flipped to “We are out of inventory. Please check back soon.” The only two that remain available for purchase are the Moto G and HTC One (M8), though it has gone in and out of inventory since it was first released back in March. Does that seem odd to anyone else?

I should point out that Google is constantly tweaking or refreshing or trolling people with the inventory status of its Google Play devices. Some times these things change for minutes at a time before being flipped back to being fully available with a “Add to cart” button. In fact, we have been following these listings all month expecting that to happen, yet it hasn’t. So what’s up?

On June 2, the HTC One (2013) went out of stock and has yet to return. On June 17, both the Sony Z Ultra and LG G Pad 8.3 ran out of inventory. On June 20, the Galaxy S4 joined them. The Moto G and One (M8) are the newest additions to the GPE line, so maybe they are only still around because Google has plenty of them in inventory. Tough to tell.

I guess what I am really wondering is a couple of things – first, it could just be that Google has run out of inventory of each and is waiting for their partners to produce more. Maybe by tomorrow, all of them will be back in stock. On the other hand, maybe these devices in particular are gone for good. Many are quite old and could easily be replaced. If that is the case, then hopefully you bought the ones you were interested in.

If we want to go semi-wild conspiracy theory, you have to start thinking about the future, as in, if Google is working on an “Android Silver” program that will kill off the Nexus line, it wouldn’t make sense to also keep around the GPE line, would it? Android Silver sounds a lot like Google Play Edition, only with more visibility thanks to supposed Google marketing efforts.

And let’s not forget that we saw a Galaxy S5 Google Play Edition appear briefly back at the end of April, yet here we are two months later without one available for purchase. Did Google say “Forget about it, Samsung”? Will it still show up some day?

Maybe this will all be cleared up at Google I/O in two days.

  • blindexecutioner

    I want the G Pad since it is probably months before a Nexus 8 will be released.

  • Rezin

    Sucks…I really wanted the z ultra

  • Noel

    The dawn of Android Silver may be upon us…but even with that, in my view we should still get a Nexus 6.

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  • Wall Breaker


    Android Silver is not killing the Nexus its replacing GPE devices kind of like a rebranding, but instead of only being on the Playstore they will become available world wide and will be available at carrier pricing in carrier stores.

    Or I could be wrong, I still don;t think the Nexus is dying though,

    • True Radiant Free

      I have a theory that all devices will become Nexus devices if Google allows all devices to be able to update to pure Android kind of like a dual booted system with the pure UI look and whatever manufacturer UI there is like TouchWiz or whatever…that would solve fragmentation. Android 5.0 Nexus

  • dan

    All the Nexus 5 16gb were out of stock today except the white version. I needed to buy a new one today…. I guess white it is.

    • archercc

      Im hoping, praying that there is a Nexus 6. Else the moment prices stabilize after the announcement I will have to track down a N5. I love my N4 but I know its going to stop getting updates and wear down eventually.

  • The Black Nexus 5 16GB is out of inventory too, not sure how long it’s been like that. But I highly doubt a new Nexus phone will be shown at I/O.

  • WickedToby741

    What they should be doing is making GPE devices available directly from carriers. That way people don’t have to pony up $600+ all at once. And really, that’s all Android Silver needs to be anyways.

    • CoreRooted

      One of the major selling points of GPE devices was to AVOID subsidies and carrier meddling. So, making the GPE devices available from the carriers would just make them carrier devices again. Pass.

      • WickedToby741

        The major selling points of GPE devices are uninhibited updates and zero bloatware, but for $600+ for most GPE devices (Moto G notably excluded), that’s a hard pill to swallow for most. Add in the stellar Nexus 5 for only $350 and I doubt many people are buying GPE devices. GPE devices are great, but there aren’t a lot of people that can afford dropping that kind of money all at once. The quick updates and lack of bloatware don’t have to be sacrificed to bring these devices to carriers; the Moto X is proof of that. Offering these devices through carriers with contract and device financing options will make these devices more accessible to more people. And after all, isn’t choice the foundation upon which Android was built?

        • archercc

          Here is the issue though, and why he is right.

          The carriers are full of it. T-Mobile and Sprint are the only ones really willing to play along. That is why GPE phones are carried independent of carrier, because carriers always F things up. Look at the Galaxy Nexus or the Moto X on Verizon. They had to put their own garbage on it, had to block Google Wallet for “security” purposes and updates were delayed even on a Nexus.

          That is why Google had to go independent of the carriers, and why it was the “Google Play Edition,” because you bought it from Google Play instead of AT&T. Carriers wanted differentiation (which is why there are a million versions of the S5 beyond the spam typical to Samsung) and they wanted to slather their brand all over the phone.

          Save for T-Mobile you will still not find a real “Nexus” in a carrier store.

          • Russ

            It is worth nothing that most carriers are now having customers lease the phones anyway. With AT&T it is the NEXT plan. So in reality, customers are now paying full price for the phones and the plans are cheaper. I think the US is the only country where you do not buy phones at the full price. Either way, I am really only willing to pay for a GPE or Android Silver device.

          • archercc

            You are right that they are still screwing you but they are also screwing you while locking down the phones and putting their crap on it.

            Nexus/GPE phones will never be big on US carriers until consumers give them no choice. The carriers want control, they want to hold you and they want your money.

            Having someone come along with a phone that isnt covered in verizon logos and with their software they got kickbacks on to put on the phone doesn’t help Verizon. And since its not locked to Verizon you can jump ship the moment you hate their service.

            Carriers hate choice.

        • Unfortunately the Verizon Nexus 4 proves that what you are describing doesn’t always work.

          As soon as the carriers get involved they start meddling and things go bad.

    • Wall Breaker

      thats the whole point of android silver honestly

  • I’m sure we will see the GPE S5 at IO, just like how we got the S4 last year.

  • epps720

    Is that S5 with QHD coming to the US as an android silver phone? If so, could be my next phone

    • Bob G

      Nope. You have to get the ginormous Note 4 for QHD super Amoled aplha ex plus

      • True Radiant Free

        You forgot Ultra arcade edition

  • Sergey

    Silver line is reportedly not coming out till early ’15. I’d really dislike Google if they decided to cancel all their pure phones before Silver is out

    • WickedToby741

      I’ve really never understood that. If Silver is really what we think it is, why not just put the current crop of GPE devices in carrier stores as the first Android Silver devices? Why not launch the program before 2015?

      • evilfatcow

        It could be because they’re adding specifics to make updates easier, or maybe it’s a whole new code with whatever it’s called, quantum i think. even though kitkat is geared for lower end devices, maybe the silver will require 64 bit chips. maybe they dont want to have them out for purchase, then release the “silver” line and have people complain that the new version has been released 2 weeks after your purchase. we wont know until wednesday hopefully!

    • Wall Breaker

      Nexus 6 was already confirmed to be an actual thing by a employee close to the project. Google it.

  • kixofmyg0t

    I’d be fine if the Google Play Edition program was renamed Android Silver. Google has already invested years into the Nexus brand, “Google Play Edition” sounds silly.

    • jamaall

      But then what is Android Gold?

      • JRomeo

        that would be the Future of Nexus right there…. Gold.

    • r0l

      I would guess the carriers don’t want Google’s Play branding to be prominent and give people the idea to go direct as many probably don’t even know you can buy a phone direct from the Plat Store. I’m sure the lack of ‘Devices’ in the Play Store app is due to carrier pressure rather than Google not wanting it there.
      If they can get GPE equivalent phones into carrier stores its a win no matter what they brand it.

  • Alec

    Devices with stock android are quickly depleting as they have fallen victim to being killed off by Samsungnites from Planet Touchwiz. Special attacks moves such as Bloatware Blaster and Multi Window Lagness have prevented the poor GPE devices from making a return to the Play Store. Symptoms of these moves include burning of the eyes and delayed reaction.

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  • Maxim∑

    Moto G and M8 are the best GPE devices anyway

    • True Radiant Free

      The Sony Z Ultra too.

      • Maxim∑

        Yeah but it’s just really big

  • Sean Johnson

    Not to mention, seems like Nexus devices going on sale left and right lately….

    • enigmaco

      Yep T-Mobile dropped the price on theirs to something is stewing

      • archercc

        Hopefully its just timing, like they know we are getting close to the N6.

  • burpootus

    The inventory status of Verizon Samsung Developer Edition phones has always been weird as well. Has the Note 3 version ever actually appeared in the wild?

    • Shawn Spring

      Yes…my buddy has one. Its slick. But he may be the only one I’ve ever seen with one.

  • enigmaco

    Wednesday can’t come soon enough, at least I think it’s Wednesday either way can’t wait.

    • Wall Breaker

      I agree I just hope Google actually gives us some insight into silver otherwise we will be waiting until Next year.

  • Wesley Chaplin

    Perhaps a reflash for a powerd by android logo and the anticpated 5:00 clock fix 😉

  • Brian Diaz

    capacitive buttons + onscreen buttons??

    • Marikel

      It’s a rough render that showed up on the Play Store in April as stated in the article.

    • Hannah Montana

      You get the best of both worlds

  • evltwn

    32GB black Nexus 7 Wi-Fi is also out of stock right now.