Cyanogen Inc. recently experienced a round of layoffs as the company struggled to make its customized build of Android into a viable business. Through all the turmoil, Cyanogen Inc. CEO Kirt McMaster has contended that CyanogenMod (the non-commercial side) has tens of millions of users. Now, some are expressing doubt as to the accuracy of such figures. For a company fueled by venture money, that could be a problem.
The number of stated users of CyanogenMod has fluctuated over time, but it's always been high for a custom ROM. In 2014 McMaster claimed around 20 million "tracked" users. In 2015, Cyanogen was saying there were more than 50 million CyanogenMod users. An internal document from earlier this year was examined by The Information, and puts the number of CM users at 25 million. However, several executives involved in the creation of that document have expressed concerns to The Information that these numbers aren't accurate.
Keep in mind, all these numbers are talking about the freely available ROM, not Cyanogen OS. So, there's little direct benefit for the commercial entity. This is more of a demonstration of how popular the core of Cyanogen is. It's definitely the most popular ROM, but are the usage numbers anywhere near what has been cited? The alleged discrepancy might not be malicious as much as it's a product of poor data quality. With all its recent issues, Cyanogen Inc. isn't likely to walk back its previous statements publicly. Investors will probably be asking more questions, though.
- The Information