There has been a lot of confusion recently in respect to Cyanogen and OnePlus. For those new to the situation, OnePlus launched their flagship device, the OnePlus One in India on December 2nd. This was a big event for OnePlus as India had shown a great level of interest in the device and as such the launch in India marked somewhat of a new milestone for the company. As most people are probably aware the software that comes running on the OnePlus One (CyanogenOS) is developed by Cyanogen.
The recent troubles began when an unfortunate situation arose with the timing of the release of the OnePlus One. Prior to the release, Cyanogen had already entered into an exclusivity deal with the Indian manufacturer, Micromax. Part of this deal was Micromaxx would be able to launch their ‘Yu’ branded range of devices with CyanogenOS, before any other Indian manufacturer employed CyanogenOS. Once OnePlus announced their launch date (which was before the Micromaxx release) this effectively conflicted with the presumed deal with Micromaxx. As such, it was reported by OnePlus that the OnePlus One’s in India would not receive OTA updates before (presumably) the Yu range of devices launched. As such OnePlus announced that they would include their own stock android on later sold devices. The news of OnePlus running their own android variant was not new news, as we have known for sometime OnePlus were working on this. All of these reports resulted in a number of OnePlus One owners (and future owners) concerned about the future of the relation between the software and hardware companies.
This morning Cyanogen (which until now) had been quiet on the subject released a statement. In today’s release, Cyanogen noted that all global OnePlus One’s will receive OTA’s and will continue to receive support including global devices in India. This is good news on the face of it. Although there is a couple of points to note. OnePlus have announced their intention to run their own stock android and the use of the phrasing ‘global devices’ by both Cyanogen and OnePlus has been repeated throughout their statements. This reference is in regards to what is best thought of as the ‘standard worldwide device’. If regional variants of the device are sold, then there is (presumably) no guarantee that these devices will run on CyanogenOS. Not all versions of the OnePlus One are ‘global versions’. We already know the OnePlus One in China is not the so-called global version, but instead a Chinese version and this comes running with ColorOS. Similarly, in the OnePlus announcement, they did state that they would ship the global One in India. Although there was an interesting caveat to that statement “We will ship the Global version of the One in India. The version will depend as per the production batch“. Reading between the lines, this could mean that the initial (already produced) One’s will come with CyanogenOS and receive OTA’s as they are global devices. However, the statement does imply that production (at some point) will switch to an alternate or Indian version like we have in China. So the Cyanogen statement today does provide clarity from Cyanogen’s point of view and if you own a global device. Although if you are based in India and planning on purchasing the One you might find (depending on when you buy the device) you might not be buying a ‘global device’.