Cyanogen has “more users than Windows Mobile and Blackberry combined”

by: Edgar CervantesAugust 9, 2015

cyanogen (2)

We knew Cyanogen makes the most popular Android ROM in the world, but it seems their influence now expands far beyond the echelons of the third-party developer world. In fact, the company’s own Adnan Begovic has just taken the stage at the Seattle Code Rush, where he announced their numbers are so high they have surpassed BlackBerry and Windows Phone users… combined.

Reaching 50 million users is no small feat, and it’s specially an accomplishment considering Cyanogen (and CyanogenMod) is not even its own platform, it’s just a modified version of Android.

Let’s put things into perspective. According to the IDC research firm, Windows Phone’s market share is at 2.7% (worldwide) as of Q1 2015. On the other hand, BlackBerry’s numbers continue to decline and are down to 0.3%. Both platforms are definitely struggling as numbers continue to drop.

IDC’s statistics and Cyanogen’s latest numbers also suggest that the ROM maker alone probably holds about 3% (or a bit more) of the world’s total smartphone market share. That is pretty insane, guys. And honestly, I don’t see their success dropping anytime soon.

best CyanogenMod themes (by developer)

Cyanogen keeps getting funded left and right. They are also hiring high-class talent and continue on their quest to get new partners to distribute their tailored Android experience. Their deal with OnePlus has ended, but they plan to partner up with “bigger Chinese vendors”. If they manage to get some of the big Asian companies on their side, Cyanogen just might be able to “put a bullet through Google’s head”.


  • Colton Blumhagen


    • Christoph Brinkmann

      So what’s Windows Phone’s share of the market, then? 0.05%? Maybe 0.1%?

      Besides, hardly the point of this article. So dial back the misplaced anger a bit, yeah?

      • C.P. Garcia

        Actually. In just the past 24 months Windows Phone has sold over 70 million. So this claim is wildy inaccurate.

  • Morgan Archer

    I was under the impression that this was BS…
    Also; Are they counting all installs? Because that would be wildly inaccurate

    • neural_physics

      Probably active users, if it was total installs (nightlies) the number would be more like in the billions

  • Bradley Uffner

    That’s a pretty low bar…

  • onstrike112

    So? It’s still an Android-based OS with all the insecurity that Android has had, and will continue to have. No real news here, moving on.

    • My Galaxy Prime

      Nope! It has less security than Android.

      • onstrike112

        Kinda my whole point. That and no physical keyboard. I just got a new Passport Silver Edition and it’s a messaging beast…. and secure due to BlackBerry 10. The physical keyboard really was something that I missed and never really realized I did until I got my thumbs on the one on said Passport.

    • OhStopItYou!

      ummm they have already patched the stagefright bug and it’s out for all phones running cyanogenmod…last i checked, most of android devices won’t be getting that update…so stop spewing bullshit all around!

      • onstrike112

        Have they patched Certifi-Gate, the other StageFright-like bug which just came out, and the update cycle? Didn’t think so,

        • OhStopItYou!

          if they have not, they will much faster than others will.

          • onstrike112

            You can HOPE, but not know for sure, and my BlackBerry will be secure.

          • OhStopItYou!

            lol I do like blackberry (the hub, the keyboard, the gestures and the fact that it’s got real multi-tasking), but there is a reason why BB is hovering around 0.3% of smartphone market share.

          • onstrike112

            What’s that? That it’s not rushed or insecure? HA!

          • OhStopItYou!

            that it’s got no developer or OEM support apart from BB. even BB has realized that and are making an android phone..

          • onstrike112

            So a phone needs OEM support to make it in the world? I don’t see that happening with iOS and it’s successful enough. I do think that Blackberry could work as an Android OEM, but it’d completely lose me as a customer, as well as a lot of people who buy Blackberry devices for Blackberry 10. So, try again.

          • OhStopItYou!

            lol tell me one company other than Apple that’s been successful with OEM support? MS failed with Windows Phone because most OEMs didn’t care enough and it’s main OEM was Nokia.
            And while I am not saying BB is not secure, I am saying that just because it’s secure does not mean it’s going to succeed – there are not that many people who’d give up their periscope and meerkat or (insert new app here) just to be secure.

          • onstrike112

            They just need more visibility. People don’t know Blackberry still exists. I pull out my Blackberry Leap in line at a grocery store and people flip out because they didn’t know it’s still making phones. That’s what the issue truly is. If you think it’s not, I can’t help you.

          • OhStopItYou!

            i had a Z10, and then a Z30 and I will soon have a Q20 (The classic) – the issue is not visibility but the lack of native apps. Sure I can download apps from amazon or google play store (with snap) but that’s not native enough to integrate as well as native apps do.
            So after a while, you get frustrated with something you have to put up with while you don’t have to with other platforms.

          • onstrike112

            That’s exactly why I have a Blackberry Leap and an iPad.

          • OhStopItYou!

            so your ideal solution to this situation is spending ~$350 on an leap and an ipad for $549 so a total of 900 while you can get an moto X style for $399 or an LG G4 for $650 or an Nexus for ~$500 + some left over for an android tablet.
            (I say this while reading feedly on my iPad)

          • onstrike112

            It’s about what works best for every end-user. I originally had a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 7.0 as my tablet, which was a refurbished model for $150. That’s an option, too. I chose an iPad because I got cellular data on it from T-Mobile (my carrier) as well as because I liked the Retina Display.

          • Peter Ward

            I wouldn’t ever boast about security, you have no idea what tomorrows headlines could be. ALL OS’s have vulnerabilities and always will have, it’s the nature of the beast. Sensible users can do more to prevent breaches than updates ever will.

          • onstrike112

            Except ones that only require the device be texted…. If that’s the case, you’re just sunk, like Androids.

          • Peter Ward

            How many Stagefright attacks has there been so far? Oh, none! Really scary, I’m sinking! I suspect Blackberry is more likely to sink than Android or it’s billions of users. I salute your brand loyalty but you need to take the blinkers off, there are pro’s and cons with everything. But I seriously doubt that Blackberry will ever emerge as the Holy Grail of mobile devices.

          • onstrike112

            I switched FROM an Android to a Windows Phone, to a Blackberry. So, out of all the choice I had, I went to a Blackberry. So, try again.

          • Peter Ward

            Try again what? So you have unusual taste, your choice. Enjoy!

          • onstrike112

            Don’t act like everyone who doesn’t want an Android or an iPhone has never used an Android or an iPhone. I don’t see what there is to like about either one. I tolerate iOS on an iPad because it was either that or Android.

  • Angry Mobile Nerd

    Their success is more or less attributed to two things; 1) It’s still Android; if it was its own separate mobile OS which required them to attract developers to write apps for it’d be right down there with Windows and BB and 2) a lot of people that are installing CM are doing so because manufacturers dropped support and stopped updating their own devices so the only way for those users to have the newest version of Android on their device is to download and install CM.

    • Ionut Lala

      I agree. I used CM on my old Galaxy S2 but since I got a Nexus 5, I stay on stock even though I do miss some features from CM. (PS: The S2 is still alive with CM 12.1 / 5.1.1 :) )

  • C.P. Garcia

    Except there is no truth. Facts reveal that Windows Phone has sold over 70 million phones in just the past 24 months. That is just 24 months alone. Already 20 million more then their figure.. And most people don’t upgrade every 24 months so there is even more then 70 million Windows Phone devices active right now.

    • Pedro Martins

      Windows Mobile, not Windows Phones.

    • Wean Irdeh

      These phones sit in retail maybe? Seems not reflect the marketshare data

      • C.P. Garcia

        Yes it absolutely does.. 1.2 billion phones sold in 2014.. Microsoft had about 3-4% marketshare worldwide (it is as high at 10% in some countries FYI..).. that is around 36 million in 2014 alone.. 2013.. 35 million.. those 2 years equal 71 million.. and sales for 2015 have actually been ahead of 2014 through June.. So again.. these figures show exactly matching sales of 70 million + in just the past 24 months..

  • Daggett Beaver

    They’re counting Cyanogenmod users. I was a Cyanogenmod user for a couple hours. I wonder if I was counted.

  • Renascienza


    Pick Windows Phone or Blackberry as targets is just “kick the dead dog”. Is not so hard to reach.

    The first Angry Birds have 100.000.000 users on Play Store, and *is just a game*.

    I suspect that reach 3% of marketshare, or even 30%, will not be enough to “put a bullet on Google’s head”.

    I think that is far more easy keep the full compatibility and coexistence instead try make some stupid ego war.

    • OhStopItYou!

      an app is easy to install – just go to the store and download. CM is not really that easy for most people. They have to root and install custom recovery and then download the nightly/build and install that.

      • Peter Ward

        That’s my biggest issue with CM, it’s a pain to install. They have automated the process for some devices but never any I have owned.

  • Peter Ward

    Kirt McMaster is an a**hole, he hates Google but without Google there would be no Android and without Android there would be no Cyanogen. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Google has every right to have some control over the OS it created and owns, the openness it allows with Android now is far more than any other company would ever allow. This jerk’s opinions are the main reason I wont use Cyanogen’s product.

    • My Galaxy Prime

      I was going to mention this but you did already. Thank you

    • OhStopItYou!

      so some person is an asshole because of his views on what he wants android to be?
      Everyone wants android to be something, and that’s the beauty – they all are right about it. I don’t see what’s wrong if CM somehow does take over control of Android from Google. At the very least, they still support old phones which Google or the OEMs don’t.

      • John Doe

        And you know that that will never happen!! Right?
        He wants Android gone!! Period ..

        • OhStopItYou!

          he never said that. All he said was he wanted to take away google’s influence of android. I happen to agree with him on some aspects – like the fact that google’s been ignoring AOSP apps and stuff.

          my point is – google and android are intertwined as one, and he wants to separate it. I for one, agree with that.
          It’ll just get google to be more competitive.

          • John Doe

            Ya, but that will never happen ..

      • Vladimír Jícha

        You are confusing CyanogenOS and CyanogenMod. The first is Cyanogen’s commercial product. They dropped it’s support even for phones which they supported officially. They simply dropped OPO support because somebody else offered them money to do so.

        CM is a non commercial community project and they support some (very few, basically only Samsung, LG and Motorola) phones which are not supported by their manufacturers anymore. But Cyanogen does not support them. Instead they are building their business based on work of these developers doing it in their free time.

        • 0hStopItYou

          but some of the features that were developed by CyanogenOS move into Cyanogenmod (like live display for example). and your point about making a business on other’s work is not fair – as Android is open source, and so is the code of those devs, I don’t see how it’s wrong to use that for their business.
          And as much as I hate the fact that they stopped supporting OP1 (in India), after seeing what a company OP even is, maybe there is more to that story.

      • Peter Ward

        So if you created something really cool and shared it, then someone came along and said what you created is good but I can add to it and make it better but in that process I’m going to try and totally cut you out and metaphorically put a bullet through your head and call it my own. You’d be fine with that?

        Google broke a business taboo by not tying down Android in patents and licences, it was a brilliant corporate manoeuvre that ensured a large market share for Android whilst also seeming altruistic. CM wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Google. Hating on the entity that gave you existence is just disrespectful and unnecessary. CM would be even better if Cyanogen had worked with Google rather than against them.

        Support for older devices is always going to be down to third parties, phones, TV’s, cars and almost anything else you can think of. It just doesn’t pay for OEM’s to support anything for longer than they have to. We live in a disposable society where it’s often cheaper to replace than fix or upgrade.

        • 0hStopItYou

          but that’s not what Google did to android. Over time, they have slowly stopped supporting AOSP apps and replacing them with their own (which is fine) but their own are usually not open sourced.
          At this point, without Google, Android’s almost plain useless. I am not saying Google should not do what it’s doing, infact I support it. But I am just saying Cyanogen is completely free to say & do what they want. You are not looking at the end product and saying it’s shit, you are saying the company and everyone who works for it is, because a CEO said something (to raise some attention to his company and to the situation in general), which as bad as it can be, is really not the worst that could happen.
          OEMs don’t update any of their low end devices (I am looking at you Samsung), while Motorola does. CM gives life to older devices and that’s something they have yet to kill.

          • Renascienza

            “without Google, Android’s almost plain useless”.

            Not true. Without Google, Android may not be as *appealing*. For the most part, this is due to the fact that much of the value perceived by users is due to Google’s own services, and let’s face it: are very good.

            It’s still perfectly possible to assemble and distribute the system with its own stack of services.

            You can offer competitors of equal quality services? And you can distribute these services free of charge to use and even then monetize them?

            Are challenges that each distributor must face. But must do so with work, not sound bites.

  • 3% market share for something that is free and available to install on most android devices is a really low number.

    Almost any decent app in play store have a larger userbase and those earn money on their product.

    • Btort

      not really, verizon and at&t has locked bootloaders so all those users can’t even install Cyanogenmod on their samsung, lg phones etc. it’s not that easy to install cyanogenmod nowadays unless you are on tmobile or a really old device

  • Hotbod Handsomeface

    Lol. Hey Cyanogen, I’m smarter than two retarded people combined. Doesn’t say a whole lot about my intelligence. Maybe next time think about that analogy prior to boasting about being better than two minor OSes in the market.

  • Karly Johnston

    It might have been flashed 50 million times, but it isnt on that many devices at once. They have sold less than 2 million handsets that come with it and the root community has become bored with CM.

  • Jimmy Gelatin

    Why chinesse? They never play fair with customers in anything about privacy. I don’t mind they have my data I care about my data plan -.-

  • DJB007.96

    They will never ‘put a bullet through Google’s head’ you seem to be forgetting that it is still Android which is Google little golden nugget. Cyanogenmod is literally the same the as like Samsung touchwiz or htc sense it’s just layed over top of Google’s Android OS. Not saying I don’t like it just saying the won’t do anything to Google like ever….. Of the 50 million people using cyanogenmod 50 million are also using Android. ?