ANDROID FLAVOUR SHAKER Cyanogen is reportedly shuttering its Seattle offices and laying off more staff as the troubled year for the company continues.
The company, spun off from a group of Android modders at XDA Developers, denied in July that it would be moving from providing entire operating system images to creating "added value" apps or "Mods" for makers to add to the AOSP or "Vanilla Android" provided by Google.
However, at that time, rumours of massive layoffs were not denied by the company. Now it appears that the wheels have fallen off.
Several sources report that Steve Kondik, aka Cyanogen, who was removed from the board recently for a role as chief science officer, will now leave the company entirely, though there’s has been no confirmation of this officially as yet.
The Seattle office may be closing but the company still has premises in Palo Alto, California, and it may be that some workers can move there, but if the company is struggling as this implies, we can’t imagine there’s a great relocation package.
Many saw the decision to turn the CyanogenMod group on XDA into Cyanogen, the company as a complete antithesis of what Android modding should be about. As a result, Cyanogen actually and paradoxically created an even stronger community as not-for-profit ROMS began to spring up in more organised, focused ways.
The biggest kicker was investment from Microsoft, as its "John Hurt" strategy towards mobile saw it push its wares into being preloaded on Cyanogen. It’s a bit like carrying a Sunderland banner into the home enclosure at St James’s Park.
It was all part of a plan to become the ultimate Android flavour. Seemingly that flavour turned out to be pickled raspberry in a jus of pine cone and offal.
Cyanogen most likely suffered after its golden ticket, the agreement with OnePlus to put its ROMs in their burgeoning line of flagship killers. After that arrangement broke down, handsets that supported Cyanogen came in dribs and drabs.
There’s no money from people who flash Cyanogen onto their existing handset and it seems that they were the first staff to go, but with ‘Mods’ remaining a hypothetical that no one has really rolled out yet, combined with the lack of regular customers, it doesn’t look good for Cyanogen. µ
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