Google To Introduce Its Own Version of Unlocked Samsung Galaxy S4 With Stock Android

By Binu Paul , Updated May 16, 2013 11:22 AM EDT

Samsung has undeniably played a huge role in popularizing Google's Android mobile operating system; however, the search giant wants to feature the OS in its own way on the Galaxy S4. Google has made one of the most anticipated announcements at the ongoing I/O conference that it would introduce a version of Galaxy S4 running its own "stock" version of Android, not Samsung's modified version.

"This is Google's take on Android, and it feels really awesome on the Galaxy S4," says Hugo Barra, vice president of product management for Android. The Google version of the Galaxy S4 will be available on Google's Play Store starting June 26. The smartphone will be unlocked and will offer compatibility with both AT&T and T-Mobile. Like the Samsung's version, the device will come with 16GB of internal memory, which can be expanded via the SD card slot.

The announcement was received with loud cheers from the I/O crowd to whom Goole promised that the device will get system updates promptly. However, the heavy price tag remains to be the biggest downside. While every other vendors offer Galaxy S4 for around $600, the Google version of the device will cost $649.

 "Google was probably selling the Samsung phone with its own version of software to quell common complaints that the Nexus phones that Google sells are often not ideal - they have had poor cameras or they have lacked compatibility with the latest fourth-generation wireless network, for example," Jan Dawson, a telecom analyst at Ovum, tells the The New York Time. "The Samsung phone with Google's stock version of Android could appease influential people in the Android community, which would improve the overall image of the operating system," he adds.

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