As it stands, the fate of Google Play edition devices hangs in the balance. For the uninitiated, Google Play edition devices are smartphones and tablets free from the usual user interface customizations offered by manufacturers. A stock Android experience as it were, similar to what we find on Google’s own Nexus devices. Not too long ago there was rumors of Google replacing the program with Android Silver, essentially the same idea, but one that would see near-stock Android variants offered on-contract by major US carriers. Unfortunately, it seems the man spearheading the Android Silver initiative recently left Google for SoftBank.
Also, let’s not forget one of the program’s biggest partners passed on offering up a GPe version of their flagship this time around — the Samsung Galaxy S5. It’s all too telling given the fact that Samsung, whom last year was first out the gate to announce a Google Play edition device, sneezes out hardware variants like no one else. Given Samsung only has to alter the software found on the Galaxy S5 in order to offer a GPe variant, it’s still possible we could see it added in the future (but we aren’t holding our breath).