It’s been a rough year for OnePlus. They drummed up feverish interest in their phone only to have to turn away potential customers. They ran with a convoluted invite system, alienated their fans with some questionable forum contests, and now it seems that they might be headed towards a breakup with their software partner – Cyanogen Inc. OnePlus has recently announced a partnership with Amazon to distribute their phones in India. That would be all well and good except for the fact that Cyanogen Inc. also announced an exclusive partnership with Micromax and their online brand Yu to support their mobile devices. That means the OnePlus Ones sold in India might have Cyanogenmod on them when they’re sold, but they won’t receive any CM software updates… at all.
According to OnePlus, Cyanogen Inc. was well aware of the pending expansion into India, making their exclusive partnership with a competitor all the more confusing. Admittedly, Cyanogen Inc. is fairly new to the whole idea of “corporate relations” and everything, but it seems kind of odd to stick it to the first hardware manufacturer to give you an official shot. I’m not the only one who thinks so either – from OnePlus’ blog:
OnePlus and all of our partners, including Cyanogen, have put countless hours of work into making this launch a success. Just last month, on October 7, Cyanogen released the 38R OTA update which included SAR values inside phone settings to comply with Indian regulations. Therefore, it was surprising and disappointing to hear from Cyanogen on November 26 that they had granted exclusive rights in India over the Cyanogen system to another company. Prior to this, OnePlus and Cyanogen have successfully cooperated to release the OnePlus One or carry out commercial operations in 17 countries and regions (including India). It is truly unfortunate that a commitment we both made to our Indian users will now not be upheld.
The One will continue to be supported globally and receive frequent OTAs. In fact, the next update will pack some surprises with which we think you’ll be very happy. Cyanogen has unequivocally committed to continuing this global support and we look forward to working with them for another year on continuously improving our device. But today, we address our Indian users who may feel disappointed or deceived.
We can’t explain Cyanogen’s decision because we don’t fully understand it ourselves. But we can explain exactly how we’ll continue offering our fans in India an amazing user experience and support for this device.
OnePlus has a contingency plan in place at least. They have already built their own Android team, and will shift that team’s focus to complete a functional ROM based on Android 5.0 – Lollipop – for the OnePlus One. They hope to have a functional build of this new system available for the Indian market in February. Only time will tell if OnePlus starts to creep away from Cyanogen Inc. to their own system on future hardware. After what CM has pulled in India, I’m not sure anyone would blame OnePlus for straying. They might have made some mis-steps leading up to the launch of the OnePlus One, but this one doesn’t fall on OnePlus, this seems to be a strange decision on the part of Cyanogen Inc.
What do you think? Should OnePlus split up with Cyanogen Inc? Let us know in the comments or on your favorite social network.