Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster and chief technology officer Steve Kondik confirmed the split, insinuating the two companies often butted heads due to both companies wanting to move forward with their own visions. “That’s probably the last you will see from that partnership unfortunately,” said Kondik during today’s Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing. “Two new companies are trying to do crazy stuff, a lot of people collide.”
OnePlus’ attempt to sell the OnePlus One in India last year didn’t exactly help matters, as the smartphone was temporarily banned in the country due to Cyanogen’s partnership with Micromax, one of the region’s smartphone manufacturers. The deal included a clause that forbade any other company from selling a Cyanogen-powered handset, and since the One was solely powered by CyanogenMod, that included OnePlus.
This incident appeared to cause a rift between Cyanogen and OnePlus, with McMaster not happy with the way the relationship went or ended. According to McMaster, OnePlus piggybacked on the Cyanogen brand name, and if it wasn’t for that brand recognition, OnePlus wouldn’t have sold the nearly one million One handsets it sold in 2014.
“Without Cyanogen, OnePlus would have sold like one device in international markets,” said McMaster in the interview. “Essentially they built their brand on the back of Cyanogen.”
According to McMaster, Cyanogen already has other partners that can ship at larger scales lined up. “OnePlus shipped reasonable volume, but nothing compared to what some of these other partners can ship,” said McMaster. “So we are working with partners that can scale much quicker.”
In an email sent to PC World, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei described the relationship between Cyanogen and OnePlus as “mutually beneficial.” Pei added that OnePlus “wouldn’t be where [it is] today without this joint effort.”
OnePlus already released its OxygenOS Android ROM, a slightly altered version of stock Android 5.0 Lollipop. For those that want to stick with CyanogenMod on the OnePlus One, there is good news on that front: Cyanogen promised to continue supporting OnePlus handsets running CyanogenMod.
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