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Last Updated: September 23rd, 2013

Oppo and Cyanogen Inc are going to announce a partnership next week - this much is clear from the video posted earlier today by the official Oppo channel and featuring the man himself, Steve "Cyanogen" Kondik. It will be the first deal of its kind between the newly announced company and a hardware manufacturer, and after speaking with multiple people familiar with the matter, I now have a pretty good idea of how the CM team wants it to work. Not everything is set in stone yet - in fact, a lot is still up in the air, so Steve is en route to China to actually finalize the negotiations and work out the details.

Disclaimer: Everything below is a rumor until the details are officially announced by Oppo and Cyanogen Inc. In fact, considering the nature of the project, everything is subject to change even after that.

N11 N12 N13

Some of you may have guessed that the Oppo N1, which will be announced on September 23rd in China, is going to run CyanogenMod out of the box. Some of you suggested a dual-boot scenario. The truth is somewhere in the middle, but even at this point the details haven't all been finalized yet. Let me break down what I've learned so far:

  • Cyanogen Inc wants the Oppo deal to become the first real life demonstration of what CyanogenMod can achieve when it's officially sanctioned and see exactly how things will play out to gain experience for future deals.
  • For this reason, no money will exchange hands - it's an experiment, if you will. Oppo is very developer and community friendly, while Cyanogen Inc wants to finally dabble in hardware (which has been Steve's dream for a long time now) - the two were practically born for each other.
  • Oppo will have two separate ROMs for the N1 - its own and the CyanogenMod one. It's very unlikely that they will dual-boot (contrary to what Android Authority is reporting)- rather, you would select which ROM you prefer when ordering the device. Because the negotiations are in such early stages, the logistics of how this will work are undecided at this point. Whether the official installer will be the way to go if you wanted to switch from the stock Oppo ROM to CM or not is up in the air (though that should be a perfectly supported way to go either way, since the N1 will be unlockable).
  • In order for the N1 to ship with Gapps (Google Apps), it would need to pass the CTS (Compatibility Test Suite) using whatever software that it ships with. Oppo's own software should pass the CTS without any issues, and while CyanogenMod itself can already pass, there is one exception - it comes pre-rooted. That's a big no-no for CTS. Cyanogen Inc is planning a few things to address this, even though technically the N1 can get certified by using its own ROM and then pull the old switcheroo. I'm guessing this could anger Google, and that's not the route either company wants to take.
  • The solution? CyanogenMod, at least on the N1, will come with Gapps for the first time since CM4 and will not be pre-rooted. If you wanted to root it later, a solution would be provided, but the idea is that CM will function unrooted without any issues. For example, the SuperUser menu, which is integrated into the Settings UI, already handles the absence of the su binary gracefully and disappears. The work is already done, and CM works just fine without it.
  • Considering all the improvements in CM lately, most users probably won't need root at all - we're certainly moving in that direction. Personally, I still use a ton of apps that need root, so I won't be bidding adieu to it for a long time.

Note: Because Gapps licensing is granted to OEMs and not software vendors, you won't be seeing Gapps bundled into everything on get.cm. On the other hand, you may be seeing a split of all builds into two streams in the future: user (casual user) and userdebug (enthusiast).
  • The CyanogenMod ROM for the N1 will be maintained by CyanogenMod members and not Oppo employees (unless they decide to contribute, of course - nobody is going to say no to that).
  • The updates to the CM ROM will be provided and hosted by the CM team, not Oppo. From what I can tell, it's not going to be much different than getting your nightlies/RCs/stable builds the way you do now. After all, CyanogenMod already has a built-in updater:

Screenshot_2013-09-20-16-39-35

  • One of the most important questions I had unfortunately remains unanswered at this point - who will provide warranty support for devices running CyanogenMod? Will it be the OEM? Cyanogen Inc? I'm guessing the former See the update at the bottom of the post. But will they really be prepared to deal with unbootable nightlies and other obscure issues? In my opinion, larger partnerships with Oppo and other OEMs are not going to be possible until the answers are clear.
  • You may have seen Koush saying the CyanogenMod option would only be available in the U.S. market on the N1. From what I've learned, the actual meaning behind this was "not China" (China being singled out because Oppo is a Chinese company), and the U.S. reference shouldn't be taken at face value. Not like it'd stop any of you who are reading this post, right?

Hopefully, the information above answers some of the questions you may have had about this exciting new chapter in CyanogenMod's life. The official announcement isn't too far off - once again, we're expecting the initial details to be communicated together with the N1's unveiling on the 23rd.

Update #1: I've confirmed that the idea is to have warranty support provided by Oppo, but a lot of the logistics and policies are still up in the air. The team will likely need several trips to China to hammer out all the details.

Update #2: Additionally, software support will only be provided for stable builds. If you want to switch to a nightly and root and break your dialer or end up with an unbootable unit, you're on your own, which is completely understandable. The shipped CM ROM will not have the options to update to nightlies and other unstable releases from the Updates menu - only stable ones. To get the nightly option, you'll need to flash a nightly. This all makes a lot of sense.

Artem Russakovskii
Artem is a die-hard Android fan, passionate tech blogger, obsessive-compulsive editor, bug hunting programmer, and the founder of Android Police.
Most of the time, you will find Artem either hacking away at code or thinking of the next 15 blog posts.

  • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

    "contrary to what Android Authority is reporting"

    Heh, as usual. I'm not sure what they are the authority on, but it is certainly not Android.

    • Kevin

      In this case, the Police is/are the REAL authority.

      • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

        In most cases, even!

      • TareX

        IMTHELAW.gif

    • Joshua Hill

      Android Police are not perfect either. I've called out a few articles for clear bias. Until the professional standards exhibited by all your contributors is lifted I'd lay off the smack talk. Even if you are perfect it's never a good look.

      The amount of smack talking Nvidia does certainly hasn't been good for their reputation.

      • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

        No body is perfect, but Android Authority is mostly click-bait articles and whenever they do have something that isn't just click-bait, it's wrong.

        • Joshua Hill

          It's obvious I didn't quite agree with your original statement so I'm not sure what you expected to achieve by blatantly abusing the use of hyperbole and claiming most of AA's articles are click-bait.

          • Kevin

            So, how about you link us to some AA articles that are useful and contribute something to the android community as a whole? That might shut up the naysayers.

          • Joshua Hill

            As opposed to the useless posts you leave. How about you provide some proof to backup @Max M's claim or are you too hypocritical to contribute anything useful yourself.

            If you get this worked up over people having different opinions perhaps you shouldn't use the internet.

          • LewisSD

            Calm down everyone. Android Cannibalism is not the answer! Save this BS smack talk for engadget....

          • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

            It looks like you are the only one getting worked up.

          • Joshua Hill

            Why don't you get worked up over some punctuation or something, http://www.droid-life.com/2013/09/25/bigger-deal-new-nexus-phone-android-4-4-google-watch-or-something-else/#comment-1059281406

            It's a wonder the website you contribute to gets any traffic with the way you conduct yourself in comment's sections.

          • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

            These have all been jokes. Everyone else thinks they are funny except for you. Stop being so goddamn butthurt and drop it, dude.

          • Kevin

            Yep. Totally useless. I've never contributed anything at all.

            Still, though... you're awfully defensive of AA. Do you write for them? Friends with a writer? Moderator on their forums? You certainly seem to have some vested interest to so vehemently defend them. And you're calling ME the troll? Yep. Totally makes sense.

          • Joshua Hill

            I have absolutely no affiliation with any Android news site nor do I personally know anybody that contributes to or has a vested interest in one.

            I'm not vehemently defending anything. I'm pointing out that the statements you and others are making in a public forum attacking others reflects poorly on yourself and those you represent. Furthermore if you are going to make attacks on something you need to substantiate the claims you make and not resort to obvious fallacies through the use of hyperbole, e.t.c.

          • Kevin

            Your reading comprehension leaves a lot to be desired. My initial comment didn't really speak negatively about AA and was limited to "in this case" if you'd read correctly (and was obviously tongue-in-cheek)... and my second comment was merely saying to you that if you're so annoyed that people are making negative comments about AA, perhaps you should, I don't know, back up your assertion that AA is a fine institution of journalistic integrity if you wanted to shut those people up (and obviously you do, or you wouldn't have replied). That being said, I'll bet your really fun at parties, eh?

          • Joshua Hill

            Your comprehension is the problem. Why should I provide proof to discredit the unsubstantiated attacks of others. As I've stated previously perhaps they should provide proof first but in your hypocritical nonsense land others can accuse with no proof and the onus is on the other party to prove their innocence. That's not how western societies operate.

          • Joshua Hill

            I have edited my above comment to remove the 'you and others' to just 'others'. As you correctly pointed out you did not make statements about AA but just made hypocritical trollish comments to me in defence of others statement/attacks on AA.

          • Kevin

            I'm just here to stir the pot a little. That being said, you replied to his attacks on AA with what amounted to "Well, they're not the ONLY ones who aren't perfect! I corrected your personal Jesus, AP!" If you were as interested in rational discourse as you'd like people to believe, you'd probably have asked him for what he considered "clickbait". In any case, I think we can all pretty much agree that none of these Android sites are without fault. Considering they're all in essence just blogs with non-professional writers at times racing to be the first to report something, it's to be expected.

          • Joshua Hill

            Finally, thankyou for agreeing with what I've been saying the whole time. Pity about all the nonsense in between and the final parting shot you had to take :)

        • Joshua Hill

          The worst site for click-bait articles and unsubstantiated claims would have to be RootzWiki.

          • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

            Them's fighting words.

          • Joshua Hill

            I'm glad you know realise the seriousness of making unsubstantiated claims about rival websites in a public forum. As I originally stated even if you are perfect or provided facts to backup your statements it still is not a good look for you or the website you contribute to.

      • angel_spain

        I have to agree with you. I love AP but some reviews are totally biased, for example David ones regarding Samsung devices, you can clearly see that he is a bit fanboy of Samsung. But anyways his reviews are extensive and detailed so it's ok.

        On the other hand, AP doesn't sell smoke with rumors like most android sites, including androidauthority.

    • http://www.tylerwatt12.com/ Tyler Watthanaphand

      Android Authority are currently dropping iDevices
      http://www.androidauthority.com/iphone-5s-vs-5c-drop-test-271282/

      • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

        Hard hitting journalism right there.

        • Kevin

          GUIZE... HARD hitting. Heh heh heh. Hard HITTING. Like, you know. Phone HITTING the ground HARD. Yeah. Apparently some people missed the joke!

          • Joshua Hill

            Another excellent contribution from @Kevin the Android Police troll.

            P.S. how much are you and Max being paid for your fanboi comments.

          • http://rootzwiki.com/news Max M.

            Not enough to put up with your whining.

    • http://google.com/+derekross Derek Ross

      I love you.

      • http://AndroidAuthority.com/ Bogdan Petrovan

        Nice!

    • kalle629

      my parents in-law recently got a nearly new silver Ford
      Fiesta just by parttime work from a home computer... about his w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com/ brgulker

    Looks like I know what my next device will be.

    • Adriano Corte Real

      I would love to agree if it wasn't a phone built for GIANTS

      • Brandon Jiang

        yeah, the N1 is way too big for my tastes

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      What about the next Nexus?

      • Vibrunazo

        I love my nexus 4 and I was drooling for the nexus 5 before today. But.... I would also love to have a phablet. Failing a nexus phablet, the n1 seems like the closest to that as we could have. If it turns out to be 5.9 as reported, then I'm skipping the nexus 5.

  • DJ SPY

    Verizon!!!!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Oppo, with an unlockable bootloader, and running CyanogenMod, on Verizon? Hahahahaha.

      • Ibrahim Awwal

        :( leave us sufferers to our delusions

      • DJ SPY

        I was just getting the ball rolling on the gimme 1080p, octa core, 5 gigs of RAM, 128 gigs of storage, unlocked boot loader on Verizon and with $200 price off contract and I'll buy it posts.

    • Jamal Adam

      The day that happens should be celebrated as a holiday.

  • herbivoor

    I'm really really excited or this. I love Cyanogenmod but always found it to be quite buggy. If they work together with Oppo and get all the drivers and sources for the device (which is highly probable), then this thing will runn like a train!

    • dude

      Stop flashing nightlies then.

      • herbivoor

        There are no stable versions for some devices, because of aforementioned reasons.

        Also, downvotes for telling the truth / own experiences? Cool.

        • PhoenixPath

          Because you are dissing CM for being buggy when your only apparent experience with it is nightlies; the unstable builds that warn you "Hey, this is going to be buggy!" before you install it.

          Unstable builds are unstable. Go figure.

  • cabbiebot

    Sounds reasonable to me.

  • Stranger From A Far Coast

    So those that choose CM ROM will have their Oppo N1 come pre-rooted? Because CM needs root.

    • Dustin

      Did you not see the "It WILL NOT COME PRE-ROOTED" section

    • Mr. Mark

      Stranger of reading comprehension.

    • Ryan

      CM 10.2, (probably even a couple versions prior), actually don't need root to fully run anymore. One can simply unroot and CM will be perfectly fine. CM no longer requires root to run to its fullest. It has been stated that a separate method for those that wish to continue to use root will be available. May just be a simple flashable zip file I imagine.

      • Thomas’

        I don't understand why CM or any other OS would need root in the first place. It has direct access to the system/hardware and can do whatever it wants. A permission for root is only really necessary for 3rd party software trying to access secured stuff.

        • Ryan

          Isn't that basically what I said? =P Minus the 3rd party software.

          • Thomas’

            Yeah, was more meant as an answer for one level further up.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Update #1: I've confirmed that the idea is to have warranty support provided by Oppo, but a lot of the logistics and policies are still up in the air. The team will likely need several trips to China to hammer out all the details.

    Update #2: Additionally, warranty support will only be provided for stable builds. If you want to switch to a nightly and root, you're on your own, which is completely understandable. The shipped CM ROM will not have the options to update to nightlies and other unstable releases from the Updates menu - only stable ones. To get the nightly option, you'll need to flash a nightly. This all makes a lot of sense.

  • Gnex

    Uhh... Any Nexus 5/Kit Kat news??

  • Cherokee4Life

    Yes Yes Yes YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    wait a minute...... I haven't seen OPPO in the United States... #*#%&!

  • TynanDeRosa

    Oppo: the phone manufacturer you're for, but would probably never actually buy a device from in the United States.

    • ari_free

      Perhaps. But I think we would like to see this to be the beginning of a trend

  • iakovl

    well... i do enjoy my note2 and wanted note3... but now i want to wait and see how N1 will be

    • Ivan Myring

      Get the note. Look at the development on xda for the note 2 compared to the oppo find 5. There is SO MUCH MORE

  • hyperbolic

    This is an important milestone for the Android community.
    No more years of waiting for a manufacture to update Android (i.e Samsung).

    • Greyhame

      Wouldn't it still have to pass carrier tests?

      • ins0mn1a

        only if the phones are to be sold and subsidized by the carrier, which i don't expect to be the case here.

        the only thing gsm phones need in order to be used with any carrier is compatible frequency bands. for example, in the last three weeks i used my note 2 with 5 different carriers in as many countries. not a single problem there (except for me usually not knowing my own phone number).

        talking about the US, t-mobile + all the mvno's + at&t prepaid finally provide enough options and value, so actually selling reasonably priced unlocked devices might be a sound business proposition. and it can only get better, with verizon eventually going full-LTE and joining the rest of the planet in the just-insert-the-sim-card-and-you're-good-to-go land (i know this is a tad optimistic when it comes to verizon, but i honestly believe they will eventually have no choice but to allow non-registered devices).

        i only hope the N1 will have a full load of 3G and LTE bands.

    • ari_free

      Probably even faster updates than a Nexus

  • SetiroN

    So literally nothing changes from the Find 5, except marketing. We'll see how this plays out.

  • eSche

    Oppo N1 = 1st generation Nemesis?

  • LazarusDark

    One of the things I'm more interested in is the update process. The install for me has never been an issue because you only have to do it once per phone if you stick with CM. Technically. The problem is that each time when moving to a major update, like CM10.0-10.1 or 10.1-10.2, it would never work just "updating" it. Things would be wonky. So I'd have to go back and factory reset and do a full reinstall with the latest gapps to get the next version working right. This is not what regular users should be required to do, they'll need to fix that. Additionally, they have to make sure all settings carry over when doing a major update, as they are often wiped, even before doing the factory reset.

    • Cuvis

      Really? I haven't had a problem moving between 10.x versions.

      • LazarusDark

        Usually the rom itself would be fine, but many gapps would be having issues. I'd then tried installing the latest gapps, but that didn't work either, so I'd have to go back and factory reset and install full cm rom + gapps and then all would work. Lots of people had the same issues from what I read.

  • CaibreGreyblade

    Now, make this an international affair and I'm sold.

  • HolyFreakingCrap

    Sell outs!