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Report: Cyanogen Inc. Turns Down Acquisition Attempt by Google, Seeks $1 Billion Valuation

According to a report from The Information, Google’s own Sundar Pichai, the overseer of all things Android and Chrome, met with Cyanogen Inc. executives recently, and was turned down after expressing interest in a complete acquisition. Ultimately, in theory, a buyout by Google would protect the company’s control of the Android ecosystem, as Cyanogen’s home-brewed version of Android is potentially the first real threat to ship on phones that Google has encountered.

With this news, Cyanogen is now discussing a Series C round of funding with a few major tech firms and late-stage investors, seeking a valuation close to $1 billion. 

As many of you may know, Cyanogen is built from Android source code, with layers upon layers of custom code placed on top. These changes allow for users to highly customize the look and feel of the OS. For example, users running Cyanogen can place custom skins on the OS and also increase a device’s security thanks to additional settings. There are countless developers that contribute their code to make Cyanogen a better alternative to vanilla Android, which is provided straight from Google as open source.

Cyanogen has told potential investors that it has a deal in place to bring its custom version of the Android OS to India through a manufacturer called Micromax. Alongside Samsung, Micromax currently holds almost as much share of the smartphone market in India, making this deal a very large step to get Cyanogen into the hands of millions of more people.

Lastly, the report claims that Cyanogen should be wary of modifying Android too much. During the process, the company must continue to follow Google’s compatibility requirements which ensure third-party applications will work on their devices. If those requirements are not met, devices will not be licensed to run Google’s services, such as Google Play and other Google applications.

With Google approaching Cyanogen for a deal, and being turned down, we could be in for a big change to the company’s approach to Android. Will Cyanogen continue on its path to only customize and distribute their version of Android, or will they look to make additional partnerships with various companies to completely rid Google from the picture – much like Amazon did with their forking of Android or Samsung has with Tizen.

Share your thoughts below.

Via: The Information (Subscription)
  • Whaaa! All your base should am belong to Google

  • marcus russell

    Let them all leave android and let nexus just be the only android phone. That will equal a better eco system with android apps and with one phone to worry about android will receive better apps cause developers don’t have to worry about compatability of many phones.

  • As much as I’ve stopped using CM in favor of GPE based ROMs I’m very glad that Cyanogen didn’t get bought by Google. I can’t imagine that Google would have any intention of letting them continue in the custom ROM business and since so many AOSP ROMs are really kangs of CM it would be a huge blow to the Android hacking community.

  • fl1nty

    If Cyanogen keeps going in their current path they would easily have an option for a 3-4 billion dollar buy out from either a microsoft or maybe even samsung when they decide to fork android the way amazon did. The upfront price would be well worth it for those 2 companies in order to get a head start.

  • chris_johns

    Someone please explain to me how they think this company is worth 1billion…all they did was repackage an already massively available product lol like really….not to mention your first official device was pretty much a failure…no idea what serious investor would give them a quarter of that…Sundar prob offered them 100k bc thats all their worth and they prob took it as an insult…no story here

  • umbrellacorp

    That is hilarious. How could they ever hope to ask that much. Has there ever been a release they’ve created that actually worked? I always played around with their mods for the Verizon SGIII and something important was always off. Bad radio, no bluetooth, GPS was wonky. Good luck, fellas!

  • Jprime

    On Verizon, i always regretted not getting the galaxy nexus, and the final nail in the coffin was when cyanogenmod installer was released for it 🙁

  • yankeesusa

    I highly doubt that they will try to remove google remnants completely. CM is a lot like the vanilla os on the nexus with tweaks. That’s why people love it. They will continue to use aosp and i hope continue to tweak it the same way they are doing now which is awesome. CM on the Oneplus One is the best os i have used so far. Yea it has couple of glitches like all os but it is the best rounded out plus tons of features including security.

  • creed

    ” Lastly, the report claims that Cyanogen should be wary of modifying Android too much.”

    If Samsung can get away with touchwiz, Cyanogen has nothing to worry about. And that’s the truth.

  • rjmlive

    I would really like to see Microsoft buy Cyanogen.

  • Frogskins

    Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered…

  • tdizzel

    I don’t think Google views them as competition, they just want to get rid of this buggy fork that’s gonna dive Android a bad name if anyone outside the tech-sphere ever finds out they exist.

  • Flip Jumpman

    Interesting article. Let’s see how it plays out… What if another OEM say Samsung, Sony and alike try to buy them out?

    Kind of hard to turn down so much money at a certain point.

  • shecalledmejay

    I could understand a few million but who else do they think will give them more than a billion dollars? That was a pretty dumb move on their part.

    • Chris Hughes

      Google didn’t offer them a billion. They are asking for a billion dollar valuation.

      • shecalledmejay

        ohhhhhhh my fault I read it wrong

  • Dobies

    Ha… Haha… 1 billion? HAHA!

  • FakNick

    How many google services do we really need? Besides the search. The open source community can make great stuff. Even Android L is really just eye candy isn’t it when you get right down to it

  • NexusMan

    “or will they look to make additional partnerships with various companies to completely rid Google from the picture – much like Amazon did with their forking of Android or Samsung has with Tizen.”

    And we see how that went for the Fire Phone.

    • FakNick

      Amazon still has to pay Google to use its fork because its compatible with Google’s apps. http://goo.gl/uCpiq1

  • Gerardo Sarabia

    CM is not a threat, Google is going to be in charge of a lot more devices now with Nexuses, Android One, Android Wear, Android Auto, Android TV, maybe Android Silver one day and only god knows what else… they need a plan to move at a faster pace (a lot more), since they want to control the full android-ecosystem now, instead of letting OEMs working on their crappy modifications. CM would be a good start for that, but never a threat.

  • Jeff Broders

    If you’ve run cm nightlies at all in the last couple of years, cyanagen is a long long way from being any kind of competition. Cyanagen hasn’t implemented (imho) any unique ideas. Nearly every option that cm has, was developed elsewhere. Not to mention a few (including the co-founder) developers chose to leave.

  • yummy

    I saw mike myers in my grocery store this summer, he looked like keith richards

    Take the money

    • Suicide_Note

      Maybe it actually was Keith Richards?

  • MasterSyrron

    I remember when Cyanogenmod could be installed on just about any phone. Now, top end devices just aren’t supported, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. Sure, there are builds, but they are not complete and I wouldn’t risk using them. I haven’t used CM since the Nexus S 4G on Sprint, it has been that long. I love CM, and I wish they would develop for those high end devices again.

    • JSo

      Is it easy to root the Note 3 and flash custom roms? Maybe that’s part of the problem.

  • Brandon
  • makapav

    “…completely rid Google from the picture – much like Amazon did with their forking of Android or Samsung has with Tizen”

    Clueless author alert. He doesn’t know Cyanogen[Mod] and he certainly does not know anything about any of the developers.

    • Eddie Jr

      Mad commenter alert. Not sure what about that ENTIRE statement hurt your butt.

      • makapav

        That statement was was pulled from his ass. It’s like trying to speculate that Obama is going to switch to the Republican party and asking for readers opinion on it.

        CyanogenMod/team is a staunch supporter of Android and Google’s team that develops it.

  • CabbageHeadCat.

    One of the attractions to cyanogenmod is with it you get Google. If that were to change, I’d never consider it.

  • evan brown


    • You must be pre common core: you can count

  • Guest

  • C-Law

    I don’t think any company is scared of Cyanogen. It almost seems like it’s flailing around if you ask me. I think Google buying could have been a good thing for the community.

  • ddevito

    Hey Google!

    I’m a decent Android dev – and I come a lot cheaper.

  • Rooting for these guys. Google needs to be smashed.

    • Guest
    • Suicide_Note

      Go home, bruh. You’re drunk.

  • Emmanuel

    Probably trying to acquire cyanogenmod to bring to life this so called “ANDROID SILVER”. They could give CM the task to make a “STOCK ANDROID” version of every single OEM phone out there which actually is already the situation.

    Just my thought.

  • Bryan Burch

    So why sell Motorola Mobility and go for Cyanogen?

    • Motorola Mobility was strategic sell, they kept all the patents and basically sold Lenovo just a name.

      The CyanogenMod bid just seems like they are paranoid.

      • tdizzel

        Yes, they’re paranoid that people will think this buggy software is “pure android”

    • CoreRooted

      Most likely for the CM developers to integrate them into the core Android team.

    • tdizzel

      Motorola does hardware
      Cyanogen does software
      Google doesn’t want to do hardware, they want to do software.

  • TopXKiller
    • Anonmose

      You are are a genius!

    • #wurdz

  • brkshr

    If Google wanted to shut down CyanogenMod, they just need to order a S&D on GApps being published. I don’t think CM is a threat to Google at all. They should have taken the money and run.

    • schoat333

      CM meets all of the requirements for GApps certification, so Google could not do that without opening themselves up to a lawsuit actually.

      • brkshr

        No they don’t. They would have to go through Google’s certification for every single device they supported. CM is only certified for the One+ One and they do run proprietary CM Software on the certified One+ One. It’s not the same “Nightly” ROM. If Google wanted to stop people from distributing their proprietary GApps (which is why we side-load GApps, because they are Google’s proprietary apps). They could very well do so. Granted, that would leave a bad taste in any custom ROMers mouth. We would only be able to run strict AOSP based ROMs, with no Google services/apps at all (like Google Play Services). Android is left pretty bare without Google’s services. No Google Play Services. No Google Play Store. Etc, etc.

  • trwb

    Just seems like Google is trying to preemptively get rid of competition in emerging markets

  • cgalyon

    One BILLION dollars?!

  • The Dude

    If they can pay $5B+ for garbage like Snapchat then surely real engineering talent like CM is worth a measly $1B.

    • Roy

      that would be true if there were really any original code provided by the “founders”, and not donated by the community. greed is all it is; greed and self-righteous indignation.

    • But why? That’s like me wanting my toy back and giving you a decent amount of money just so I can take back what’s really mine anyway, and you turning around and holding it for a $1 billion ransom.

      A bit overstated, granted Android is open sourced, but not really that far off the mark.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Snapchat was a platform acquisition for the user-base that came along with it.
      CM would be primarily a talent acquisition.
      Two completely different scenarios.

  • Willie D

    Really? $1B and they think they will get it? Google generally offers a company once, a high over market value buyout deal..to say no is to sign your suicide note.

  • Go Home Cyanogen, you’re high.

  • Magentaogen

    I don’t get the appeal of Cyanogen. Buggy and bloated.

    • Raj Bhatt

      And always one major release behind official Android.

      • Jason Schwerberg

        As an owner of a One Plus One, I’ve been getting updates basically up to speed with Google Official…the version lag was the case before, but doesn’t hold true any more.

        • Raj Bhatt

          That’s really good to hear. The reason I left CM years ago is because all releases would be beta until the day the next big version of Android launched. Then they released an “M” release or final release and then started development on the new version. I understand that there is no way around it, but it was frustrating to always be behind.

          • Dobies

            I think it depends on the device, but yeah – CM is nightlies only basically. An M build in theory undergoes more scrutiny, but by the sounds of it it’s just a dated nightly. Hell, even their RC releases had a ton of bugs for me always. The best way to flash something I found has been to follow the XDA thread, and hope that enough people say that a particular nightly is stable enough – I upgrade to those normally. Crappy, I know, but better than what comes stock on the phone

      • asten77

        My 4.4.4 phone disagrees.

  • Cyanogen is not a threat, I think Google just wants to add them to the team. If they were a threat Google would just close them out of the Android Ecosystem by not approving their devices for GPS.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      CM Inc. has some very talented individuals. I think that they turned it down primarily because they simply didn’t want to work for a large corporation like Google.

      • BillySuede

        nope. it’s the money. if it wasn’t, why would they publically state their market valuation intent?

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Because they want their potential investors to know what their goals are ahead of time, and what their near-term goals are for the investor’s RoI calculations.

  • DanSan

    Can we seriously stop making up ridiculous amounts of money for things.

    • Chris Hughes

      I know..good lord. 1 Billion? Because you modified a version of an OS that someone else made?

      Google could literally build a team of the best 10 people. Pay them $1,000,000 a year each and still wouldn’t even come close to touching a billion dollars.

    • sirmeili

      Sure, but you’ll have to pay me $2.3Billion first.

    • Yes, end fractional lending!!

  • Brandon G

    glad that they didnt because CM isnt all that anyways. its hyped up for no reason. Id rather prefer them to have liquidsmooth on all phones instead.

    • JSo

      I agree. The only thing I like about Cyanogenmod is their new Theme engine. Other than that, it’s just Stock Android with a few tweaks.

      • Tim R.

        The theme engine is top notch, but CM really is nothing special. I’d much prefer stock Android + Xposed than a whole ROM anymore.

        • Ryan

          That’s kinda how I am now-a-days. Stock firmware + a couple xposed modules on my Moto X. Couldn’t be any happier.

      • Kevin

        Was the Theme engine created by Cynaogen mod?

        • JSo

          The one they use now, I think it was. Don’t quote me on that though.

      • Clift

        I wonder if that’s not what Google wants them for. Get the android OEMs to start packaging their skins as android themes. That would be awesome cause you could just pick the stock theme. #dreaming. Or in some unholy land of wtf have touchwiz running on an HTC One. Oh I just puked in my mouth

        • Jprime

          ive thought of that too! themes for messaging apps, dialers etc. that could be based off stock, material design, hangouts etc. all created by whoever wants too, just like icon pacs

    • Suicide_Note

      Agreed. I tried CM a while back and didn’t see what all the hype was about. I much prefer Paranoid Android.

      • JSo

        Even PA is basically stock with some tweaks. Ever since Xposed was created, I have kinda been over custom ROMs.

        • Keith

          You and I = same page.

          • Nikuliai

            Nerdy people gets entertained from nerdy stuff… I got tired of it when I got my Moto X but every other phone I got passed for at least 5 roms each :B

          • Ryan

            same boat. it all stopped with the moto x for me too.

          • JSo

            Same here. I was a flashaholic with my Galaxy Nexus. With mu Nexus 5, not so much.

          • Turb0wned

            Flashing for me started with the original HTC EVO. Stopped with the Moto X and when I went back to the iPhone. It was fun but that God im not doing it anymore.

          • Carlton Crasher

            I never found a ROM I completely liked till I got my siii. I used CarbonRom on that and I use it on my nexus 5. So much customization available.

          • Dobies

            Yeah, at this point I just kinda want the thing to work… always! CM has been up and down on SGS3, but it’s better than TouchWiz. Granted, it’s not hard to be better than TouchWiz: be faster, and be sensibly stable (which sadly CM does fail at with some builds).

        • coolsilver

          Yup I’ll take stock with Xposed and Gravitybox over CM at this point.

        • Mark2134

          This. I have my own kernel mods on my G3 but stock with xposed is all i need

        • custo

          This, right here. Xposed is wonderful.

          • + Xprivacy Pro

            & UnbelovedHosts

        • christopher3712

          The only thing about that is who can be first to support ART in Android L? CM with all the available custom ROM tweaks, or a newer generation of Xposed? I would prefer to run ART but don’t because of Xposed. A lot of those tweaks are sneaking their way into custom ROMs already, however slowly it’s happening.

          • JSo

            The creator of Xposed has plans to keep supporting it when Android makes the change. He’s just waiting until Android L is final to really get into so he doesnt have to change stuff more than once.

      • Stock is nice when the device is up to date. Sadly my old GNex only goes up to 4.3 for stock images, so I have to use ROMs to get 4.4. I tried CM and had terrible performance. Tried PA which did a hell of a lot better but still had lag. Finally ended up on Shiny ROM, which was the closest I could get to stock. That combined with root, xposed and gravitybox, and the GNex now makes a great backup device.

    • Mark2134

      CM used to be all that. Man back in the OG days CM and Bugless Beast were sweet. But yeah… I like liquid and sone of the lesser known devs because it feels like those devs are still community based androidians.

      • Michael Schnider

        Was just gonna say bugless was the shizz. Ahhh the days when having gingerbread installed before anyone else….those were the good ole days lol

        • nemosfate

          FroYo feels decades ago

          • Abgar Musayelyan

            remember when JIT compiler was like the craziest thing ever?

      • Good Ol’ Days

        • Mark2134

          I haven’t talked to Pete in awhile but we used to talk a lot. He actually taught me how to build from source. Dude was a rockstar. Still have BB on the OG. 🙂

          • Oh, you mean us young folk may not remember the OGs of DL? 😛

          • Mark2134

            Ha! Come on brother. You weren’t far behind :). Hey look at ya now! You’re way better at it than i ever was! 🙂

        • EC8CH

          OG D cred to you good sir.

        • Jim Davis

          The good ‘ol days…of 4 years ago 🙂

    • meijin3

      I disagree. No matter how many ROMs I use, I always end up back with CM. What’s important to note is that many smaller ROMs build off of CM’s work (which isn’t to say CM doesn’t borrow from others).

      • jonzey231

        I have CM on my N4 and N7. Simply just because the battery life on CM kicks stock Android’s ass lol

    • John

      I agree. I don’t see the appeal of CM or custom roms anymore these days. It ACTUALLY introduces bugs and instabilities to a very stable stock rom from the big manufacturers. Sure you get updates faster, but you have to deal with broken gps, random freezes and reboots and etc. Just not worth the headache anymore.

      • Dobies

        For an older phone like SGS3 it’s actually rather nice. They have FINALLY, and I mean after about 2 years, gotten the CM builds stable enough for it, where I rarely get surprised by nasty bugs at the worst time. So at this point CM is a great deal for the SGS3: it makes the phone feel brand new – it’s fast, it’s modern/current (by virtue of being basically AOSP), and it’s also the latest version of Android.

  • DanielMena9

    Does this have any effect on my Google apps suite on my OnePlus One in the future ?!

    • Good_Ole_Pinocchio


    • Suicide_Note

      No. Only if Cyan/OnePlus decided to fork Android in a future software update could you lose your Gapps.

  • schoat333

    I’m confused. Everything Cyanogenmod adds to Android is open source, so its not like Google would buy them for Android OS related reasons. They could just fork the code for themselves.

    Did Google just want the name so they could shut it down? Are they trying to squash them from the root and custom ROM market for Android security reasons?

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      Not at all. In all likelihood, they probably wanted to buy CM for their talent as much as anything they’ve already built. The staff devs are pretty damned talented and imaginative when it comes to value-add features in CM.

      • schoat333

        I doubt that. Lets be honest, Google wouldn’t need to buy the whole company in order to get the talent…

        • sirmeili

          But if google wanted all the talent, it would probably be easier to get them all by buying the company. Else you are leave it up to the individual. Sure they could try and get them individually, but this just might be easier (for google).

          Granted, i’m not saying that is the reason, just that if it were, why I would think they would do it that way.

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          They would if they also wanted their prior work along with them. A known-talented team that obviously works well together and all of their prior, current and future work for one price? That is why companies like Google make acquisitions like Waze; not because of some perceived threat, but because they like their work and want to own it themselves, but also have the talented developers behind that work to move to other teams if they would like to do so.

          • schoat333

            Their prior work is open source… Google can take it now without buying anything…. Thats why its called open source. The only reason they would buy the CM name is to use it or shut it down.

        • Franklin Ramsey

          Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be the first time Google bought a company specifically to get the talent of a company though.

        • Pedro

          Talent is the most important resource a company can possess.
          That’s the end all, be all. Intel, Apple, Google, Cisco would all agree, as they collaborated illegally to do nothing but not lose talent.

    • brkshr

      Not everything CM makes is open source anymore. They started making things proprietary when they started their corporation. That’s why there was some fallout with CM devs that thought things should stay open.

      • Dobies

        What features are actually added-on over stock AOSP? I think the main one for me is toggle Music app when aux is plugged in. Don’t know of others, sadly

      • Whisper

    • Mike

      The could fork the code, but I think most CM additions are GPL, so Google would have to maintain that licensing scheme and keep contriubtions open, which can get sticky if they want to take pieces of that code and stick it into other modules or do weird version stuff. Then you have to keep track of the provenance of that piece of code and things get complex quick. Better to buy the company, own the copyright and then be able to assign whatever license you feel like and use the code without having to track its provenance for the next 70 years.

    • Pesky IP law

  • CDavisUnlimited

    If Cyanogen gets deals like the Micromax one then they’ll flat out own the emerging market sector in India and potentially China. With the recent Court Case that Google lost to Oracle, Android One won’t be able to compete since the cost of the OS will be too expensive.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      The move from Dalvik to ART in L pretty much negates the vast majority of Oracle’s claims. Since CM needs to charge something for their services to remain in business, I don’t see how they could undercut “free and including hardware support” that Google offers with the Android One project.

      The Android One devices are already the cheapest new devices on the market. I’m guessing CM will provide the mid-range or flagship software, which will be a great opportunity for them, but they won’t “own” anything, really.

      • CDavisUnlimited

        @justtynhutcheson:disqus that’s NOT true. The move to ART does not change the fact that Android’s is Java based and it does not change the way in which Android uses the Java APIs relevant to the court case.

        And on a side note, Android is NOT a free OS. Google currently pays licensing fees to a number of other companies, they just don’t pass on all of that cost to OEMs. With the Oracle suit, Android becomes MUCH more expensive. Cyanogen on the other hand, can take their source and break away from any infringing code that Google is currently paying for as long as they have a foothold in India and China.

    • SteveDave

      Doesn’t the move to ART from DALVIK negate the court case?

      • CDavisUnlimited

        Not at all. The move to a different runtime does NOT change the fact that Android is Java based or change the way in which Android uses the Java APIs in the court case.

  • Reed Kerr

    I’m glad they didn’t sell, and I hope they don’t in the future. We really need some more diversity in mobile technology, or things could get ugly quick. I’m hoping Tizen, Firefox OS, and Ubuntu Touch all gain some traction too. It would be good for everybody.

  • Mark

    There is no threat….

  • coolsilver

    Cyanogenmod has some nice additions to android but overall I don’t see why Google would want to buy them. Anything they haven’t built is open source.

    • Suicide_Note

      To bring proven, talented programmers aboard.

      • coolsilver

        True. But they are Google. What’s wrong with the talented programers they put through many interviews and screening? Shouldn’t they already have some if not the best out there?

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          Hiring, especially at a company as large as Google, is a very long, drawn out, and expensive process. Done this way, they acquire a large team of known talented developers *and* all of the rights to their prior work in one fell swoop. Definitely worth the cost.

          • Chris Hughes


            Google could literally build a team of the best 10 people. Pay them $1,000,000 a year each and still wouldn’t even come close to touching a billion dollars.

  • Jkdem85

    $1 billion is nuts

    • atomizer123

      When something like whatsapp can be sold for 19 billion, I don’t think it’s all that nuts for a full custom os company to sell for that price.

      • trixnkix637

        Different company for a different purpose. For Facebook it was worth getting that app for tying it into their infrastructure & what they want to do long term. For Google, it’s not worth 1B to add CM to the portfolio. Not to mntion, Whatsapp I’m sure is a larger company with more equity & value than CM.

        • Trueblue711

          The developer talent and potential work done which could further Android could definitely be worth $1B to Google. Android is Googles most successful service after search.

          • trixnkix637

            They don’t make any money from Android since it’s open source. You could go and make your own version of it and not have to pay them a dime. You mean Google Apps. The access to GApps is the most valuable thing next to search. Which buying CM would do nothing for since they aren’t interested in forking it yet.

        • atomizer123

          Different company, yes. But whatsapp has functionality that mirrors facebook’s own messenger system and given the user-base, they can never integrate it into their own system. Whatsapp will stay as a separate non-money making entity for now.
          Cyanogenmod is very similar with regards to its role to google, in fact they are in a better place to get android to more people and have innovative ideas the way they work. Not to mention the budding recognizability of CM to a lot of people in places like India where most hardware manufacturers never provide proper update path for the low cost devices (grated google is trying to tackle that with android one, but CM has had inroads in that market for some time).

          • trixnkix637

            I think you’re generalizing whatsapp too much. It’s a hugely popular texting platform. Facebook messenger is a separate app that can’t exist without FB (FB carrying it’s own stigma amongst consumers causes problems too). FB buying whatsapp was not only them getting the userbase, but it’s providing a whole new revenie stream for them in an avenue they had no hopes of penetrating plus getting those staff members to help make existing products better. Easily worth the price they paid. Google needs no help getting Android to the world, they need help in monitoring forking that foregoes using GApps (ex.Ticen). The One program is more humanitarian than it is profit motivated. They don’t CM to achieve that. And in the long scope of things CM isn’t even a highly favored version of Android anymore (when compared to MIUI, Liquidsmooth, etc.). Now where Google would benefit would be the hardware relationship with Oppo. But that’s definitely not worth $1B.

          • atomizer123

            Whatsapp is a very popular texting platform- largely because of India. Android one is also aimed at India, to not lose the grip over an entire market akin to China. CM would also largely be a step in that direction (it is budding with the users of low cost devices, along with other smaller custom ROMS- but nothing is as well known as CM) and whether or not google thinks it is worth 1 billion, all of these takeovers/strategies are largely a response to the growing middle class in 3rd world nations and getting a piece of the pie there.

          • trixnkix637

            You have a point there.. Im just not sure google should spend a billion or anywhere close to acquire a company, just to complete that goal.

          • Wrong. They’re both xmpp texting

          • Yeah: they’re both xmpp texting

      • Labmouse

        precisely. Now if they said “$100 Billion” I’d know they were just foolin….

      • Repacaked xmpp texting SANS federation

  • Walter Partlo

    I wonder what Google offered?

    • coolsilver

      25 mil or something cheap

      • Kevin

        Even that is too much.

      • Dobies

        I mean, how many people do they have on the team? That’s a pretty solid deal for a small dev team. Depending on what sort of contracts come with it, could just join another project and pocket the money

  • Jay Ward

    $1billion? Really? This had to have been google’s reaction.

    • Nikuliai

      yes, really, that’s their way of saying “we’re not interested in selling BUT if you’re scared enough to pay insane ammounts of money we’ll think about it”

      • needa

        i don’t see google as being scared. there is way too much customability within cyanogen. carriers do not want to deal with those things. and if you take all of the settings out of cyanogen you are left with just another skinned rom. not only that they arent that good when you look at the issues the opo is having from update to update.

        • Nikuliai

          They respect them as competition, but if they (at some point) decide they’re worth 1 billion they will be scared (cuz they aren’t worth that nor will be… ever), so again, that’s their way to say they don’t wanna sell: “throw a ridiculous offer and I may think about it, otherwise we’ll pass”… don’t be so literal

      • kashtrey

        Actually, it’s implied by the report that CM is seeking a series c round of funding at a valuation of 1 Billion, that they actually value themselves that high. It’s not a scare tactic. They’re actively seeking to get other investors to get them that much cash.

        • CMjunks

          Glad someone gets it. If Google did actually make an offer, this report isn’t saying what they offered to acquire CM.

          • michael arazan

            Google could actually invest the money they need, giving them access to CM which is almost like licensing, probably cheaper than buying them out right instead of just scavenging what they need and throwing away the rest. They could actually invest in a company helping to create things and in turn have a piece of the action and are just reinvesting in Android, and CM gets a guarantee of having access to Google services and maybe other services Google has.

      • “If you can’t beat them … buy them and shut them down” …

    • Dave

      And Motorola is only going to fetch them $3.2B if I remember right…

      • michael arazan

        A Motorola left over Carcass is going to Fetch 3.2 Billion

    • adbFreedom

      And to think.. It used to be just a “donate to me” button on XDA once upon a time. I am glad to see these guys come up in the world. Nothing better than making money doing what you are passionate about

      • Nope. Not after their we won’t spoof vote.

    • MistaButters

      The crazy thing is they are seeking funding that will give them a $1 billion valuation, which means they truly thing they are worth $1 billion.

      • _ASSASSIN_

        The fact that it has so many users is the reason they see fit to do so.

      • They are worth what the buyer will pay


    • LiterofCola

      Exactly, morons… totally not worth that amount of loot.

    • John Whitehead

      It’s nice that you can just “tweak” an open source OS and make a billion!

      • dumbass

        yea it’s so easy writing all those lines of code.

        • John Whitehead

          Maybe you could point out the major differences between the open source android and that of Cyanogenmod. Then you could help me understand all of those lines of code that were added that make it vastly different than Android used on other devices. I am not doubting that there are subtle changes, but having a OnePlus One and running CM11, I see no real difference from my HTC One M8. Also, there are hundreds of ROMs available. Most with subtle changes such as menu colors, icons, etc that require little coding effort.

    • U gave it up for waze…

  • Stone Cold

    Very interesting. I wonder if Google is really feeling that Cyanogen is a threat.

    • Christopher Robert

      No not a threat. They just realize that CM has a ton of good programmers that they would love to bring into the Android team.

      • asianrage


      • Exactly

      • JSo

        For a billion Dollars though? I’m sure there are plenty of talented programmers that are trying hard to get into Google every day that they don’t have to pay for

        • Justtyn Hutcheson

          I guarantee they weren’t offered $1B. That is the number that CM wants to reach for their market valuation. And while Google has their pick of most programmers, the CM team has already proven their dedication and familiarity with the platform. The proven track record of a highly talented and imaginative team that already works well together is a tempting prospect for talent acquisition. Look at the Waze purchase; it wasn’t a threat to Maps (heck, it relies on the Maps API), so much as Google really liked what they were doing and wanted to own the rights to it.

        • Christopher Robert

          The theme engine built into CM is a nice piece of code Google REALLY likes.

    • DanSan

      Very interesting, I didn’t realize Stone Cold had such an interest in phones. I thought his hobbies included beer and flipping off his boss. I approve.

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    Don’t Sell for chump change! . . . Google for whatever reason seem to see Cyan as a threat (potential) . . .but Cyan would be nothing without Google Play Services.

    • Timothy Anderson

      Exactly. I can’t imagine that Cyanogen would be as popular, if it did not have Google Services. I mean, would you want it, if it did not have any Google apps? Not me. And I don’t think anyone in India would either.

    • Justtyn Hutcheson

      I don’t even think they see them as a threat. Sounds more like a talent acquisition as much as anything else.

  • hkklife

    Fools. They should have taken the $ and run. Android One will rule the roost in the developing markets as far as an “official” presence. Otherwise, we’ll continue to see tons of no-name devices flooding the market without official GAPPs or Play store support (think of the <$99 drugstore tablet craze of 2 years ago!)

    • itsgonnalast

      Haha yeah it reminds me of the time Groupon refused the $6 billion offer from Google.

      • Dave

        Best move ever….not.

      • picaso86

        Seriously? Oh Groupon you FAIL!!!!!!

      • leo

        That’s exactly what I was going to say.

      • Labmouse

        I’m sure Google, in hindsight, wondered what it was smoking when it made that offer…

    • Brandon

      If “Silicon Valley” has taught us anything, it’s you take the money and run.

      • trixnkix637

        Don’t believe that? Ask Snapchat…

        • socarwolverine

          So the exception to the rule? How many companies have been burned because they thought they’d be the next Snapchat?

          • trixnkix637

            You misunderstood my response. I agree with the OP and was saying at some point Snapchat will regret not taking the money and running. Hell they’ve probably already started to regret it.

        • Jprime

          or Draw Something

      • Must not have lived in silicon valley

        • Brandon

          Nope! I live on the other side of the country in NJ and work in Manhattan.

    • Labmouse

      yeah, now it’s going to happen with $99 bay trail windows 8 tablets. There’s already one available…


  • ThomasMoneyhon

    Have no idea why this report would suggest Cyanogenmod is a threat to google. Chinese OEMs fork android all the time and dont include the play store, cyanogen on the OPO and Oppo devices have the play store and comply with the Google Certification, in the same way HTC’s skin of android, Samsung’s, LG’s etc.

    I suppose yes Google may have been courting them, but it wasnt to protect android. Android isnt in danger from Cyanogenmod.

    • Even if the Chinese OEMs want to include Google’s stuffs, they can’t — it’s China’s policy. It appears that while Google is threating OEMs not to forking, or else risk of losing the Google Certification, it still lets them fork as long as the forked products are only sold within China.

      • Justtyn Hutcheson

        AOSP can be forked and there is nothing Google can do about it, as it is open source. Google’s certification program is only necessary if the OEM want to include Google’s proprietary apps, like the Play Store. Amazon’s FireOS is forked from AOSP and sold globally, for example.

    • Emmanuel

      Just a thought, they could be attempting to acquire CM to accelerate and bring to life this “ANDROID SILVER” idea. They could give CM the task to make a STOCK ANDROID version of every single phone out there…..which to some extent is already the case with CM

    • Eddie Jr

      Though it’s very limited, I would say CM has a bigger market share in the U.S. Most of those Chinese OEMs will never get a toe in the U.S. market, or any really big developed market.

    • fl1nty

      Its more likely these are rumors being spread by the investors in Cyanogen to place the idea into the minds of both Google and others like Microsoft/Amazon/Samsung etc to get a bidding war going and make huge returns on their investment.

    • michael arazan

      But India is a Booming Market right now and also has almost 20% of the world’s population, I think bigger than china right now

    • Google wants to kill encrypted native whisper?