Cyanogen mods self away from full Android alternative

Board shakeup and new 'buy our code McNuggets' plan follows lousy sales

Android alternative Cyanogen looks to have given up on trying to sell a full mobile operating system.

The shine has gone off the outfit of late, and in July, it reportedly axed 30 staffers. While there's a core of users who stick with the CyanogenMod code that's the genesis of the company, mobe-makers taking Cyanogen licenses are in short supply (the company claims 20 phones and millions of customers; IDC says nearly 345 million smartphones shipped in 2015).

So along with a reshuffled C-suite, the company is shifting its sales focus to let potential customers license specific Cyanogen components rather than swallowing the whole pill.

In a put-a-brave-face-on-it post, freshly minted CEO Lior Tal says “the need for a more open Android, which offers freedom and independence from any one single company, still remains elusive” (we suppose Cyanogen wouldn't have minded being The One Single Company, had it happened).

So the sales model shifts to a Cyanogen Modular OS program, which means device makers won't need the “full Cyanogen OS stack and individual device bring-ups”.

Instead, OEMs can take their canonical Android from The Chocolate Factory, and add their own Cyanogen sweeteners at the edges to create what Tal calls “customisable Android smartphones using different parts of the Cyanogen OS via dynamic modules and MODs, with the ROM of their choice, whether stock Android or their own variant.”

As well as Tal becoming the CEO and joining the outfit's board of directors, co-founder Kirt McMaster is kicked upstairs to executive chairman, and co-founder Steve Kondik's role changes from CTO to Chief Science Officer, reporting to engineering senior veep Stephen Lawler. ®

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