CyanogenMod is one of the most popular custom versions of Android — but if you want to run it on your phone or tablet, you’ll need to unlock the bootloader and install it yourself. That could soon change.
The CyanogenMod team formed a company recently, a core group of developers are working full time on the project, and they’ve already indicated that they’re working with at least one hardware partner.
Now it looks like that partner is Chinese phone maker Oppo.
CyanogenMod founder Steve Kondik showed up in a brief teaser video on the official Oppo YouTube channel, suggesting that an announcement is coming at an Oppo event in China on September 23rd.
Update: It looks like the phone will offer a dual boot option that lets you run the Oppo version of Android of CyanogenMod. That would allow the phone to ship with Google Apps. It’s also expected that the CyanogenMod software will not include root access out of the box, and you’ll have to unlock the bootloader yourself (and lose official support) if you want to run nightlies.
Oppo has earned a reputation for making affordable phones with high-end specs, and independent developers have been porting custom ROMs to Oppo devices for a while. Oppo even sponsored XDA:DevCon 2013.
Now it looks like it could also be one of the first devices to ship with CyanogenMod as its default operating system.
Since many Chinese phones runs customized builds of Android based on Google’s stock Android experience, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch for a company like Oppo to reach out to skilled ROM builders like Kondik and company for help polishing their software to run on a premium phone.
With the right spec-sheet and price tag, the Oppo N1 could be at least as geek-friendly a device as the upcoming Google Nexus 5.