AT&T is one of the oldest wireless carriers in the United States, and apparently its role in selling phones is about to change in at least one way.
According to a report published by The Information, AT&T is at least considering partnering up with Cyanogen to build its own version of Google’s mobile operating system, Android. According to a pair of unnamed sources, the report indicates that the Big Blue carrier was aiming to use ZTE as the manufacturer in this endeavor, but when export sanctions were dropped on the company, ZTE was no longer a valid option, so the carrier put the plans on a hold of sorts.
For what it’s worth, Cyanogen is no stranger to something like this, as it already produces and licenses its own version of Android to those who want it.
The result of the team-up would be something akin to Amazon’s FireOS, apparently. That means that while there’s Android under the hood, it would probably be buried under a mountain of proprietary software and tweaks, and it would be wholly controlled by AT&T. All of the hangups that could be imagined from that would exist, including AT&T being in charge of keeping the software up-to-date, and implementing stock features that Google incorporates into future versions of the platform moving forward.
As it stands now, there’s no word on how close AT&T was to finalizing the deal with ZTE, let alone Cyanogen, or even how dedicated to the plan AT&T is anymore. If AT&T does go through with it, though, that’s a huge deal for Cyanogen.
What do you think of the idea?
[via The Information]