If a report from a Chinese media publication is to be believed, Samsung was apparently interested in acquiring the Cyanogen Mod OS. The report/interview claims that these intentions eventually led to Steve Kondik, the CyanogenMod founder, to quit his day job as a software engineer at Samsung. It’s from a popular Chinese tabloid so it’s better we take this with a pinch of salt, but the news is not surprising at all. Samsung is the biggest player in Android and if recent developments like an exclusive dev event and the seemingly parallel services layer in the latest updates of Touchwiz are to be believed, their aspirations to have a separate OS, which is something like an Android fork, is not unfathomable.
The Korean market leader had hired Steve Kondik in early 2011 for the role of a software engineer but there were vague details on what the contributions from him were going to be. To be fair, companies don’t actually reveal what they do with their employees, but if we remember right, Steve was about to “make Android even more awesome” at Samsung. Two years later, he quit his job and eventually went on to introduce Cyanogen Mod OS to the world. Cyanogen Inc.’s OS aims to be a third player in the wildly still-growing smartphone market, where supposedly 7 million are already active users of the CM ROM for Android. Essentially an Android fork, this will help companies make phones without Google’s software but still be able to run the huge catalog of Android apps, much like the Kindle Fire. Easier said than done, but still, the company claims that to be their vision.
Samsung have a very similar vision, which this image from a Ars Technica piece, captures quite accurately –
In all honesty, if there’s any company that can pull this off, that would be Samsung. Despite their efforts in Tizen or the yesteryear Bada, the company has not really gotten its foothold in software. So, the aspirations are clear, but the execution no where near. This neatly corroborates with the idea that they pursued the acquisition of Kondik’s Cyanogen Mod OS which is open source and free for all, and is essentially an Android fork at the moment. A rough translation of the report states –
Cooperation with Samsung, people familiar with the matter say, Samsung senior Steve Kondik intentions, but Samsung was interested in acquiring CyanogenMod and OS, while Steve Kondik founded CyanogenMod think this OS is contrary to the original intention when, in March 2013, Steve Kondik finally chose to leave.
Again, take this with a pinch of salt, but it’s highly likely that this is what happened. So, is Samsung still pursuing its plans? What happens to Tizen? What happens to TouchWiz? It will be interesting to see how this goes for both CM as well as Samsung in the near future. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.