Cyanogen exited the market over the holiday weekend, releasing a statement that nightly builds will be discontinued no later than New Year’s Eve 2016.
The company had a riotous run over the years, providing one of the most lauded mods to the Android OS, CyanogenMod, but was always embroiled in controversy. Its CEO Kirt McMaster openly stated, “We’re putting a bullet through Google’s head,” after raising a round of $80 million in venture capital.
Cyanogen based its strategy on selling a version of the open-source OS to phone manufacturers with support. Customers, like for the OnePlus, had already moved in the last year onto internally-developed OSs or returned to Google’s distribution of Android.
Despite raising money from industry names like Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Twitter Ventures, Cyanogen’s bite-the-hand-that-feeds-it model proved untenable. Many of Cyanogen’s improvements to Android over the years eventually ended up in Google’s official distribution, leading to a better OS overall, and a decreasing need for manufacturers to look elsewhere.
What’s left of the project has been forked into Lineage OS, which will focus more on modding Android than attempting to build a full-fledged competitor.