Foxconn joins the Cyanogen investment party

Chinese iPhone manufactory hedges OS bets with poorly concealed $30m buy-in

Workers in a Foxconn plant, credit: Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA

Chinese iPhone manufacturer Foxconn has joined Twitter, Qualcomm, Telefónica and others to swell Cyanogen’s round C funding to $110m.

Neither company is saying how much Foxconn is investing, but before the announcement the round C stood at $80m.

The money will go to build on the Cyanogen platform – which riffs on Android – “to accelerate talent hiring and the development of its open OS platform”.

The company claims that the Cyanogen OS will create a more open, level playing field for 3rd-party developers, enabling seamlessly integrated experiences within the operating system. It denies that a fork in the OS will confuse the market and it even bills Cyanogen as a new OS, claiming to be number 3 in the market. Its friend Microsoft might beg to differ.

“We’re evolving Android and creating an open computing platform that will change the way consumers interact with their mobile devices,” said Kirt McMaster, CEO of Cyanogen. “Foxconn and our diverse group of strategic investors and partners reflect the mobile value chain, from device manufacturers and mobile network operators to chipset makers and 3rd-party developers. They see the great potential of what we’re doing in creating the next major paradigm shift in mobile computing.” ®

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