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Blu and Cyanogen are launching a Google-free Android smartphone

I’m not sure what got in to Cyanogen but the startup has been extremely aggressive these past couple of months. Now that the company has the funding it needs to fulfill its promise to wrestle Android away from Google, Cyanogen has announced a partnership with Blue to launch a smartphone that will be free of any Google services whatsoever, with all of the being replaced by alternative services. 

There’s no subtlety to Cyanogen’s ambitions. CEO Kirt McMaster makes a habit of fiery rhetoric, recently proclaiming his operating system is “putting a bullet through Google’s head.” There’s more details to the assassination plot now, with Cyanogen announcing a partnership with Miami-based Blu to launch a phone later this year without any Google services whatsoever. Yes, that means no Gmail, Chrome, Google Search, or Play Store. The details aren’t final, but McMaster tells Forbes the plan is to ship the phone with alternatives like the Opera web browser, Amazon Appstore, Nokia’s Here maps and Spotify for music. The company also plans to build its own app store, though there isn’t yet a clear path to how its scheme will churn out enough revenue to sustain the company. Cyanogen does have some big-name backers in Twitter, Qualcomm, and mogul Rupert Murdoch, part of a recent $80 million fundraising round.

 

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