Lenovo says Micromax's Cyanogen OS exclusivity has ended

While Cyanogen OS has noble roots in the popular CyanogenMod ROM and community, part of its reputation has been built on controversy. The company would go to challenge Google's hold over Android, partnering with Microsoft and other companies in an attempt to replace Google's apps and services. But even before that, it was already mired in controversy when, without warning, it made the OS exclusive to Micromax, at least in India. Lenovo, who will soon be launching the ZUK-branded Z1 in the country, says that the exclusivity is now over.

Among the dozens of Android ROMs, Cyanogen OS has the distinction of being the first to make it actual retail devices, starting way back with the OPPO N1 (somewhat) to the OnePlus, to Micromax's YU smartphones, and then Lenovo's new ZUK brand. Part of its appeal, aside taking the burden off OEMs shoulders when it comes to customizing software, is that it removes absolute dependence on Google's Play Services and all the strings attached to it.

However, Cyanogen OS still have very limited reach, both in OEM support as well as market. It's particularly problematic in India, where Micromax holds exclusive rights to the Cyanogen OS trademark. Or rather held, according to Lenovo. The Chinese OEM has revealed plans to launch the ZUK Z1 smartphone under its own brand as the Lenovo Z1. It will also be launching with Cyanogen OS, similar to the European version, which would have put it at odds with Micromax.

Lenovo says, however, that Cyanogen Inc has given them the green light for it, which implies that the exclusive agreement with Micromax has already ended and it is safe to use Cyanogen OS again in India. If true, that could open the doors for other OEMs as well to use Cyanogen OS on their smartphones. That said, some might have some doubts about Cyanogen's claims, considering how it only informed OnePlus of the exclusive arrangement with Micromax at the last minute.

The Lenovo/ZUK Z1 would be considered a mid-range smartphone by today's standards, running on a yesteryear's Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, paired with 3 GB of RAM. A 5.5-inch Full HD display tops the smartphone. Lenovo confirms that the 64 GB model will be made available in India, though pricing remains undisclosed.

VIA: Gadgets360