This is not something OnePlus expected or deserved right before their gala launch in India. Cyanogen, the company’s software partner has inked an ‘exclusive’ deal with Micromax’s new YU division which means that Cyanogen will not be supporting the CyanogenMod build of OnePlus One for its Indian users.
In a detailed blog post, Carl Pei, the global face of OnePlus has written an emotional open letter to the company’s new customers explaining this mess, which unfortunately isn’t as clear as it should have been. We shall try to do our best in comprehending what the situation is and how this might pan out in the future.
Deal between Cyanogen & OnePlus
Earlier this year, OnePlus signed a deal with Cyanogen to launch the first ever smartphone running CyanogenMod out of the box and promising frequent updates and support directly from Cyanogen. Carl says that the understanding was that Cyanogen will continue to support the OnePlus One for at least an year in markets spanning 17 countries (including India). “It is truly unfortunate that a commitment we both made to our Indian users will now not be upheld.”
The triangular messJust yesterday, Cyanogen inked a deal with the newly formed Online brand from Micromax, Yu, which gave them the exclusive rights to use CyanogenMod in India. This automatically negates the commitment Cyanogen had made with OnePlus for the One which will go on sale in India on Dec 2.
We are not clear what sort of a deal OnePlus had with Cyanogen, except that Carl clarifies that globally (excluding India) Cyanogen will continue to support the smartphone with frequent updates and new features. Apparently, Cyanogen is working with OnePlus and the new update is due in the next few days and ‘will pack some surprises with which we think you’ll be very happy’.
So what next?
- The December 2 launch of OnePlus One in India is still a go.
- OnePlus will launch One with the global build of Cyanogen in India (it uses Color OS in China).
- OnePlus is working on its own Lollipop-based ROM which was supposed to launch on its upcoming OnePlus Two device, but will now be made available for Indian version of OnePlus One. This is already in works and will be production ready by February 2015.
- OnePlus plans to move the Indian users to this new ROM by Feb next year, and for that, it will set up stations to manually flash the new ROM.
- Beta version of OnePlus’ own ROM will be available in December and can be flashed by any OnePlus One user.
But what’s not clear is how the OTA is handled for CyanogenMod based build in India. Since Cyanogen has inked an exclusive deal with Micromax, ideally they can’t release a CM based OTA in India for OnePlus One. Even Carl isn’t clear about this.
We shall update the post once we have more clarity on the last bit. For now, the good news is, OnePlus One will be launching in India on December 2.