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Oct 3, 2014

Google Wanted to Buy Cyanogen and Got Rejected

Google has apparently tried to acquire Cyanogen Inc., the maker behind the custom build distribution of Android, known as CyanogenMod, but the offer was rejected.

The Information, reports that the chief executive of Cyanogen, Kirt McMaster, told shareholders that Sundar Pichai, the chief of Chrome and Android at Google has expressed an interest in acquiring the firm and even went to meetings on the topic. However, Cyanogen Inc. rejected Google’s offer, saying that it still had a long way to grow, choosing to focus on getting a $1 billion valuation to help in its third round of funding. CyanogenMod operates on two handsets from small manufacturers. OnePlus One and Oppo N1 use a special Cyanogen build, something that turned the operating system into something used by everyone, not just those tech-savvy enough to replace the Android version on their own phones.

Why is Google interested?

It is rather unclear what Google would do with Cyanogen since they’re working on the same software. It is perhaps the long-term goal that the company has – becoming the third most popular mobile ecosystem, which the company hopes to manage to do since it provides an even more open version of Android – that attracted Google. There’s also the option that Google might want to kill the competition, although this seems like one of the lesser plausible alternatives, even though Cyanogen is the most threatening among the custom Android builds out there. A more likely situation is one in which Google wants to protect its interests. Some recent reports indicated that Cyanogen and Micromax have come up with a deal that sees the company’s Android build to be released on a new device before the year ends. Micromax is one of the Android One partners that Google signed with recently, which the Internet giant wants to keep under tight control.

Even so, it barely generates any income and it’s unclear if the company has any actual plans to create revenue. A recent rumor indicated that Cyanogen wanted to start charging for themes at one point, although that was never confirmed by the company itself. While it’s true that Cyanogen has rejected a Google offer right now, it does not mean that it will not accept another offer somewhere down the road, after the company has attracted more funding and when it has finally grown to the size it aspires to reach. There’s still some ways to go until then, however.

Google shows interest in Cyanogen
Image credits to Google


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