Google said that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be available without the Korean electronics maker's software overlays and pure Android for $649 unlocked.
The move, which got cheers from developers at Google I/O, addresses a market niche. Google is essentially going to sell Samsung's latest phone in its Play store June 26 and give it the Nexus treatment. The device will be unlocked, have LTE support and work on AT&T and T-Mobile.
Hugo Barra, vice president of project management Android, said Google will also provide the latest updates for Android in a speedy fashion.
The move is probably a win-win for the Google-Samsung partnership. Samsung will sell a few more Galaxy S4 devices. Google gets an extension of its Nexus program for those folks that want the pure Android skin.
Now the real thing worth tracking will be sales of this unlocked Galaxy S4. The unlocked Nexus-ish Galaxy S4 will quantify the market for a pure Android experience with Google pushing updates.
Does the pure Android experience on the Samsung Galaxy S4 change the value proposition of the phone?
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