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CyanogenMod, New opportunities for Taiwan SMEs

By Vincent Wang
Published: Jul 17,2015

Care to get your handset’s operating sysytem (OS) customized? Here comes the CyanogenMod (CM), which is all the rage for the reason it’s aiming at replacing Google’s Android. William Liang, former Senior Director at innovation Digital System Business Group (iDSBG) System Software Division Operating System Department of Hon Hai Technology, said that there are chances and challenges of the OS for small and medium-sized enterprises in Taiwan.

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Many people have experienced that there are too many built-in apps in smartphones, but actually without using it. Most important of all, it’s hard to delete completely. CyanogendMod can remove unwanted programs installed by your carrier.


New opportunities for Taiwan SMEs

“Generally speaking, for the mid-tier and high-end products, they will choose Android Open Source Project (AOSP) in a bid to use Google’s cloud computing service. Whereas CM will be chosen more as an OS of entry-level products, and products that made in China, or the customization.” said William Liang.


Figure 1 :   The first CyanogenMod phone, the Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition
Figure 1 : The first CyanogenMod phone, the Oppo N1 CyanogenMod Edition

William Liang explained that for entry-level products and products that made in China are lower in cost, as well as CM has no need to pass the CTS/GMA certification, which saves the time to market. What’s more, Google’s service is prohibited in China, as long as CM to cooperate with the cloud service provider, such as BAT, it will probably make a profit out of it.


Regarding the customization, William Liang claimed the applications besides smartphones and tablets, especially the smart devices and smart applications, or even the Internet of Things (IoT) are also chances of CM.


However, there are still challenges of CM, one of which is that it’s been widely considered as a follower and copycat of Google’s AOSP. Moreover, it still needs more acceptance from users to create the economy of scale.


The Emerging Power

Furthermore, Cyanogen, the maker of an Android-based operating system, is hoping it can expand with the help of Chinese handset vendors with global ambitions.


Figure 2 :   Easy to implement is an important advantage of  CyanogenMod
Figure 2 : Easy to implement is an important advantage of CyanogenMod

The U.S. company, Cyanogen, has over 50 million users of its CyanogenMod, which is a modified version of Android that can be installed on smartphones manually. But it’s hoping to proliferate the OS even more, by partnering with Chinese companies to release phones that come with the built-in software.


“It’s a great way for them to build some identity outside of China using a brand that’s already reasonably well known,” said Kirt McMaster, the company’s CEO.


Reportedly, the company said the phones would target the international market, and not mainland China, where competition is already heated.


In addition, China has over 100 smartphone brands, both small and large, and some of them are moving to the international market. CyanogenMod officially supports over 220 devices for CM 6 to CM 12.1 versions, with test, nightly, monthly and stable builds for more devices.


Cost-Effectiveness, Less Time to Market and Customization

In conclusion, CyanogenMod is an operating system that further emphasized on cost-effectiveness, less time to market and customization. These features are highly needed for those small and medium-sized enterprises who aim at offering handsets that bring quality specs and yet are priced low.


Figure 3 :   William Liang
Figure 3 : William Liang

Last but not the least, many experts consider that as handsets have developed into a certain degree in hardware specs, the technological bottleneck is inevitable. Therefore, apps will be the main battlefield for those who want to get users’s continuance intentions and stickiness. To get a highly customized OS and apps arrangement are the basis of it. One thing is for sure, the winner will be those who sieze chances and tackle challenges of the CM.


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