If you have been following the ongoing OnePlus, Cyanogen. Micromax and India story then the last few weeks have been brightly filled with news stories. This all began when OnePlus announced that they would begin selling their flagship device the One Plus One in early December. At the same time, the news had become known that Micromax, an Indian OEM we’re also planning to release their Yu branded range of devices, which would come running with CyanogenOS software out of the box. The same software which comes running on the OnePlus One. Well, this led to a rather unfortunate set of events for all three of the companies, as Cyanogen has signed an exclusivity deal with Micromax guaranteeing them that other OEMs would not be launching Cyanogen powered devices in India before they did.
Following on from this, a few days ago came the news that due to this exclusivity deal with Micromax, OnePlus were banned in India from selling the One. At least on a temporary basis. The Judge in the Indian case did permit OnePlus to continue to sell the remaining stock which was already in the country, but OnePlus were prohibited from shipping, selling or advertising anymore devices which bore the Cyanogen branding in India. Well, this was the overriding judgment in the case and the one which attracted the most headlines. However, the court documents from the case also revealed some other interesting information. As part of the court case, emails were included as evidence for the chain of events and we can now reveal that based on those emails it seems dating back to November 17th (which was the week before the news of the Indian OPO launch became public knowledge) Cyanogen had effectively ended its relationship with OnePlus.
On November 17th Carl Pei (OnePlus CEO) sent the following email to Kirt McMaster (Cyanogen CEO) “I’m guessing there’s some misunderstanding. Shall we talk about it during your visit in December?“. The reply from McMaster to Pei was “We will be terminating our relationship with one plus. I will get back to you with more details shortly“. The ‘shortly’ came very quickly with a follow up email from McMaster to Pei roughly thirty minutes later “No misunderstanding. We have no reason to meet in sz. We are terminating“. Although, the reports up until now have been confusing and contradictory, these email responses to clearly highlight that even before the Indian launch of the One was confirmed, both Cyanogen and OnePlus knew that Cyanogen were planning to terminate their contract. In the emails that followed between the two over the next week, they did seem to try and work things out although there was no confusion that this would only happen if OnePlus did not sell or use Cyanogen branding in India. On November 19th McMaster sent the following email to Pei “We will halt support for oneplus devices immediately…..I am also requesting that oneplus stop using the cyanogen brand in any marketing collateral or communication in India“. The emails continued between the two and on November 24th McMaster sent the following to Pei “I’d like to reach a compromise here. Ship stock android in India. No mention of Cyngen in India and I will keep supporting oneplus for rest of world. And we can continue dialogue for other devices etc“. A couple of days after this is when the news of the OnePlus and Amazon launch broke, as well as the following news stories we all now know about the situation.
So there you go. If you wanted to know what really happened, then this is it. Cyanogen did intend to end their relationship with OnePlus and only came to the agreement that OnePlus Ones outside of India would continue to be supported by Cyanogen. This hopefully, will clear up any misunderstandings of the news reports we have had up until now. So what do you think?