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Does Cyanogen really have more users than Windows Mobile and BlackBerry combined?

does cyanogen really have more users than windows mobile and blackberry combined os
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Cyanogen, the company behind the CyanogenMod and Cyanogen OS custom ROMs for Android devices, recently announced that it boasts 50 million users, which is more than the user bases for Windows Mobile and BlackBerry combined.

The proud declaration was made at the Seattle Code Rush on Saturday, as reported by Android Central and shared by Cyanogen on Instagram. The 50 million figure isn’t new, as the company shared that number in a Forbes article earlier this year. There are, of course, issues with the new claim comparing Cyanogen’s user base with Microsoft and BlackBerry’s users bases.

For one, there’s the question of whether Cyanogen’s claim mistakes Windows Mobile for Windows Phone. Windows Phone, which is Microsoft’s current mobile operating system, appears to lay claim to more than 50 million users on its own.

Then there’s the not-so-small matter of nomenclature: Windows 10 Mobile, which would be the closest translation for the “Windows Mobile” Cyanogen mentions, hasn’t been released to the masses yet, and Windows Phone replaced the last version of Windows Mobile in 2010.

There’s also the big question of how Cyanogen is counting their user base. If their calculations are based on installs rather than active users, the numbers would skew favorably for Cyanogen due to the users who download and flash CyanogenMod nightlies. (CyanogenMod has to be manually downloaded and installed on a user’s smartphone, while Cyanogen OS is the default variation of Android that comes preinstalled on select phones.)

All those caveats aside, the main message is simple enough: Cyanogen is growing, so Google, Samsung, and Apple better watch out, according to the company.

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Jason Hahn
Jason Hahn is a part-time freelance writer based in New Jersey. He earned his master's degree in journalism at Northwestern…
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