As Android is built upon an open source base, custom ROMs have been around since the first Android devices launched, and CyanogenMod was one of the first ones out there, running on the original T-Mobile G1 and a vast variety of different devices ever since. A couple of years ago now, OnePlus and the newly-formed Cyanogen Inc made history by offering the first device running Cyanogen OS, a fully-compatible version of Google's Android but with all the tweaks and extra features of CyanogenMod. Things didn't go so well between OnePlus and Cyanogen in the end, but in India Cyanogen partnered up with Micromax to create the Yu subsidiary and line of devices. For some time, the Yu brand has been the only one allowed to use Cyanogen in the country, due to an exclusive agreement. According to Lenovo however, this is no longer the case.
This news comes as the result of Lenovo looking to launch the ZUK Z1 in India, which is of course a device running Cyanogen OS. According to Lenovo's Anuj Sharma, Head of Product Marketing the deal between Micromax and Cyanogen no longer stands in their way. Sharma went on to say that "[the deal] was there before that's what I was told by Cyanogen team. But the team now said its ok now. So we are going ahead with the launch" in reference to the ZUK Z1. Right now, the ZUK Z1 is running Cyanogen 12.1, giving it Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, and the device has already been available in China for some time now. In fact, we reviewed the device last summer, and those interested can read that here.
Of course, the ZUK Z2 has recently been launched in China, but for Lenovo, lower-cost devices will probably be the key to success in India. After all, the price tag has arguably been one of the most successful things about the Micromax Yu as well as device's from their compatriot firm Xiaomi. Selling an older model of a device is not always a bad tactic, and it could help put Lenovo back on the map in India, helping take the fight to Yu, Xiaomi and perhaps even Samsung.