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Inspection of Cyanogen documents casts doubt on reported usage numbers

Cyanogen Inc. CEO Kirt McMaster has claimed that there are 50 million CyanogenMod users worldwide, but data regarding active users looks far lower.

Published onAugust 17, 2016

Cyanogen Inc. doesn’t seem to be in the best condition these days. The company incurred a brutal downsizing earlier this year, and in spite of the CEO’s claim to “put a bullet through Google’s head,” Cyanogen OS has failed to take off as an independent operating system free of the alleged tyrannical control Google holds over Android. Now things just got a bit darker for the company.

According to the Information, a recent investigation into an internal document circulated earlier this year is casting doubt on CyanogenMod’s active userbase.

In 2014, CEO Kirt McMaster claimed that 20 million “tracked” users were running the non-commercial CyanogenMod on their Android devices. In 2015, McMaster reported a significantly larger figure – all the way to 50 million worldwide. He claims that the majority of these users that he believes exist cannot be tracked.

Understanding the differences between CyanogenMod, Cyanogen OS & Cyanogen, Inc.

The Information, however, says otherwise:

Two people who have had access to Cyanogen’s internal data said as of this summer, the company had about two to three million weekly active users of both CyanogenMod (versions released starting in early 2015) and its commercial cousin, Cyanogen OS. (Mr. Kondik [co-founder and CTO of Cyanogen], in the interview, said there were “somewhere in the neighborhood of” four million Cyanogen OS users.

Mr. Kondik says that there are challenges tracking CyanogenMod’s users since many of them are “privacy-focused.” He says that the company never “misrepresented” its size, but that it’s possible that “there’s been some embellishment by certain people.”

Since the company is funded by venture money, it’s important for Cyanogen Inc. to be able to prove that their platform is popular enough that a commercial version is viable. With these previously impressive numbers being questioned, it’s likely that investors will want some more solid answers to backup their previous claims.

there’s been some embellishment by certain people.

What do you think of the hot water that Cyanogen Inc. is currently finding itself in? What happened to this all-favored ROM? Let us know your take in the comments below!

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