Cyanogen Inc. is attempting to do something Amazon has attempted for the past couple of years – partnering with an OEM, this time the manufacturer Blu, and crafting a phone based on Google’s Android source without any of the Google services or features.
After Amazon’s flop with the Fire Phone you would think you’d want to take a step back, and then take another few steps back, and then start running from the idea of making a phone based Android source code with the fundamental idea that you’re not going to pair it with Google’s Play Store services, but this is what Cyanogen Inc. evidently plans on doing.
Whether Cyanogen Inc. has plans of making Google Play uninstallable isn’t mentioned, and this might just be a case of releasing a phone exactly like you like it (from a licensing perspective) and letting the end user decide what app marketplaces will be installed. But from a user’s position, these third party markets tend to ensure ancient software, slow updates, and more scamware than Google Play does. Generally not as good an experience.
I’m a bit surprised after the OnePlus fiasco that any OEM would want to jump into bed with Cyanogen Inc., especially with such a relatively limited audience the CyanogenMod name brings and how inexpensive it is to make an AOSP house ROM for a device.
I’m also a bit uncertain with Google’s stock Android making huge developmental leaps and bringing the OEMs that have partnered with it along for the ride, what’s going to happen to users who are sold a non-Google Android theme-engine phone that’s attempting to put you in the Cyanogen, or potentially highest-bidder’s ecosphere.
Whatever the case, it will be interesting to see how Cyanogen Inc. manages to forge ahead, whether they’ll actually move away from Google completely, and if they can stand on their own if they do.