Cyanogen said to have turned down acquisition offer from Google

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,459   +171
Staff member

cyanogen google android acquisition mobile os andy rubin sundar pichai micromax

Most startups would be thrilled with the proposition of being absorbed by Google but that’s apparently not the case at Cyanogen Inc. The custom Android ROM maker recently turned down such an offer according to a report from The Information (subscription required).

The publication claims Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster recently told shareholders he met with Google’s senior vice president Sundar Pichai who has been over the Android division since Andy Rubin stepped down in March of 2013.

During the meeting, Pichai expressed interest in a full acquisition of the ROM maker. Cyanogen reportedly declined the offer, instead saying they were still growing. Exactly what Google would want to do with Cyanogen is up for debate as there are several viable outcomes currently floating around the web.

cyanogen google android acquisition mobile os andy rubin sundar pichai micromax

Cyanogen is actively seeking a $1 billion valuation to help with its third round of funding. As Engadget points out, the company is serious about becoming the third major mobile ecosystem. It’s entirely possible that Google wanted to buy them out then shut it down before they get any larger.

Whether or not that would make much sense is again up for debate when you consider Cyanogen is basically just a more open version of Android. Then again, with Cyanogen reportedly working a distribution deal with Indian consumer electronics company Micromax, such a plan certainly seems plausible.

Another possible acquisition outcome could see Google absorb Cyanogen’s intellectual property, retain some of the top talent and maintain a firm grip over Android as a whole.

It’s too early to know if Cyanogen’s decision to decline Google’s offer will pay off in the long run but it’ll be interesting to see how the whole thing plays out. As a consumer, more competition is always welcomed.

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Posts: 871   +394
I wonder if, upon installing, they are legally required to pay all licensing fees to the appropriate companies since its obvious google isn't paying for the IP use (unless they count the previous Android factory install as PAID). I foresee, if and when they hit it big, huge legal challenges for patent use.


Posts: 349   +132
Cyanogen is Android, not a new OS. They just tweak the code and add a few unique features, but the differences between a stock AOSP ROM running Chronus, a theme, and a few other rarely used apps and CM11 is small.

In-fact, CM has started to get bloated with stuff (although still very fast and light) and a lot of users have moved to other ROMS with only what they need (see CarbonROM).

The other problem with CM? How do they make money? Right now its all donations (whether from the public or an investor). You can't charge for Android, it's open source. I guess one day they could charge a fee for the use of the CM Installer (an easier way to root/unlock your phone than ADB) or maybe for the account that lets you see your phone's location, lock it remotely, etc. At that point though, people would just move to another ROM with similar features that is free. The competition is stiff in the world of Android ROMs. Any given phone has 5-6 stable versions to choose from right now with various levels of support.


Posts: 43   +3
Good for us surprised they didnt sell like with minecraft microsoft is going to marketing whor* it but who could turn down 2billion.


Posts: 39   +3
Am thinking of rooting my android device and trying cyanogen soon to see how it compares to the stock android.