OnePlus, the startup founded by ex-Oppo executives, announced it’s the official partner of the CyanogenMod team and that the first fruit of the collaboration will be available in the first half of the year.

OnePlus was founded by former Oppo VP Pete Lau and a number of other employees of the Chinese company at the end of last year, amidst rumors that the startup would become an official partner of Steve Kondik’s Cyanogen Inc. The rumors were spot on – in a posting on the OnePlus forums, the company announced that it would be working with the CyanogenMod team to put the “best software on the best hardware”.

While Kondik and his team collaborated with Oppo for the CyanogenMod version of the N1 – the first CM device to pass Google’s certification and gain official access to Google’s apps – OnePlus will be more than that. As an official partner, the company will customize the hardware based on input from Cyanogen, while the operating system will be a “specially designed version of CyanogenMod with exciting new elements and features”. This seems to imply that the OnePlus would have some special software features, and it’s not clear if those features will ever trickle to other devices.

specially designed version of CyanogenMod with exciting new elements and features

The first phone co-developed by OnePlus and Cyanogen will be called OnePlus One, a name that proved quite popular on the company’s forums. The device will launch in “select markets” in the first half of 2014, with “more global availability” in the future.

For his part, Steve Kondik is optimistic: “By combining our software expertise with Pete’s background in hardware and design, we’ll develop a phone that will exceed both of our expectations”. But details are scarce for now, and it remains to be seen whether or not two relatively inexperienced teams will manage to deliver a competitive product.

Do you think Cyanogen and OnePlus can make it?

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