Cyanogen’s relationship with OnePlus is all but dead

CyanogenMod on the OnePlus One. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

CyanogenMod on the OnePlus One. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Enjoy the latest Cyanogen OS update for the OnePlus One while it’s fresh, because it’s highly unlikely you’re going to get another one. Cyanogen CEO Kirk McMaster has all but confirmed that the company has parted ways with OnePlus.

The One became one of the first smartphones to offer Cyanogen software out of the box, and for a while, the partnership seemed to be going well. But in recent months, it has become clear that the two companies probably haven’t been working too well together.


The issues began when Cyanogen signed an exclusive deal with Indian smartphone maker Micromax, which eventually led to a sales ban on the One just weeks after it made its debut in India. The company was eventually given permission to continue selling the device, as long as it didn’t deliver CM updates.

OnePlus responded by launching an early version of its own Lollipop-based software, which One owners could flash themselves if they wanted to, and it quickly became clear that the Chinese startup was gearing up for a future without Cyanogen.

Then there was the One’s CM 12 upgrade, its first CM upgrade based on Lollipop. OnePlus initially promised it would be delivered within three months of Android 5.0’s public debut, but more than five months later, users were still waiting for it.

In the meantime, OnePlus announced OxygenOS, another Lollipop-based ROM that is essentially pure Android with some OnePlus tweaks thrown in.

Now Cyanogen CEO Kirk McMaster has confirmed that the company probably won’t be working with OnePlus anymore.

“That’s probably the last you will see from that partnership unfortunately,” he told PC World. “Two new companies are trying to do crazy stuff, a lot of people collide.”

Despite the troubles, OnePlus founder Carl Pei has publicly remained grateful to Cyanogen for providing the software for his startup’s first phone. He told PC World that OnePlus “wouldn’t be where we are today without this joint effort.”

Cyanogen is now working with other Chinese smartphone makers to put CM into the hands of more smartphone users. McMaster declined to name any of its new partners, but he did say they’ll help make CM much bigger — and had a subtle dig at OnePlus in the process.

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