Last December, the OnePlus One device launched in India, only to hit a legal obstacle. Cyanogen, the company behind the phone's operating system, gave Micromax (a local Indian smartphone OEM) exclusive rights to use its operating system within India.
After five months of legal disputes and uncertainty, it seems OnePlus managed to win this one. Its Indian customers will now be able to receive Cyanogen OS updates, such as the major Cyanogen OS 12 upgrade that the global users recently received.
Although OnePlus won this battle, the damage seems to have already been done. Both OnePlus and Cyanogen have been hurt by the dispute. One had to build a new operating system on its own in the middle of the OnePlus One's life cycle, while the other has lost a rather popular customer.
OnePlus will start using its own OxygenOS from now on. The company has already made it available for its OnePlus One customers, and new devices such as the upcoming OnePlus Two should have it out of the box.
There are both advantages and disadvantages with this strategy. On one hand, OnePlus now controls its own operating system, which should allow it to take the OS whichever direction it wants against the competition. On the other hand, it has to invest resources to keep up with its competitors.
Although it's going to lose an important customer, Cyanogen will probably continue to do well, too. The company has already attracted significant investments, and it has also made some interesting partnerships in the past few months -- the latest being one with Truecaller, for the purpose of creating a more advanced dialer that can block unwanted phone calls. The Truecaller-enabled dialer will be available in a future update to all OnePlus Owner owners, as well.
The good news is that OnePlus and Cyanogen can now just part ways amicably, and their users won't get hurt in the process. OnePlus fans can continue to buy the company's OxygenOS-powered devices, while Cyanogen OS fans can buy their future devices from another Cyanogen OS-supporting company.