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Cyanogen ends OnePlus partnership, aims to work with bigger Chinese vendors

As Cyanogen ends its partnership with OnePlus, the company may turn to other Chinese smartphone vendors to bring its custom Android OS to the global market.
April 28, 2015
cyanogen (2)

Speaking in Beijing at the Global Mobile Internet Conference, Cyanogen’s Kirt McMaster and Steve Kondik have been discussing the past and future of the fledgling company. After a fairly rocky relationship, it may not surprise you to hear that Cyanogen and OnePlus are parting ways, as Cyanogen looks for new hardware vendors to bring its custom Android OS to market.

According to Cyanogen’s Steve Kondik, the two companies ultimately had different goals for its software and, as a result, there were collisions between personalities as the two attempted to proceed with their own visions. Not to mention that the two stepped on each other’s toes when it came to launching the OnePlus One in India last year. Cyanogen had already signed an exclusive deal with rival low cost smartphone manufacturer MicroMax, which temporarily banned the sale of OnePlus handsets powered by the custom OS in India.

“That’s probably the last you will see from that partnership.” … “Two new companies are trying to do crazy stuff, a lot of people collide.” – Steve Kondik

Kirt McMaster doesn’t seem particularly happy with the way the relationship went or ended. He believes that OnePlus essentially piggybacked on the Cyanogen brand name and that the company wouldn’t have sold many handsets without its market appeal. Although, he did wish OnePlus the best in the future. In an email, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei described the relationship as more “mutually beneficial.”

“Without Cyanogen, OnePlus would have sold like one device in international markets,” … “Essentially they built their brand on the back of Cyanogen.” – Kirt McMaster

However, this by no means is the last that we’ll be seeing of Cyanogen in the smartphone space. The company is apparently already working with new partners, specifically ones which can scale up production to reach the international market quicker. No brands have been mentioned by name, although another low-cost Chinese manufacturer seems likely. However, it seems that Cyanogen is keen to break free of the competitive Chinese marketplace and into the international market, and is looking for a partner with similar global ambitions.

We’ll have to wait and see who Cyanogen can convince to abandon the security of Google’s Android ecosystem in favour of its own ambitious plans.

Read more: Cyanogen CEO- We’re putting a bullet through Google’s head

“OnePlus shipped reasonable volume, but nothing compared to what some of these other partners can ship,” … “we are working with partners that can scale much quicker.”

As for OnePlus, the company has its new Oxygen OS to fill the gap left by Cyanogen OS, which looks as if it will take over as the primary OS for future handset releases and updates. Although, Cyanogen will continue to offer support to devices still running its OS.