According to a report this morning out of The Information, AT&T is in talks with Cyanogen to launch a phone running a version of Android made by the company, purportedly on ZTE hardware. This is notably the first time that a US carrier has considered selling a phone running the less-Google-controlled version of Android that powers phones like the Yu Yutopia and the WileyFox Swift…

Assumably, this rumored device would be pushed mostly due to the fact that carriers have less control now over their phones than they ever have. Carriers have almost no control over what ships on the Apple-branded iPhones that they sell, and Google is clearly planning to assert even more control over its platform — which has traditionally been more friendly to carriers by way of preloaded services and apps.

Cyanogen has proven that it’s willing to partner with other entities so long as the situation is mutually beneficial. Microsoft is the prime example, which seems to be hoping to make at least a little bit of a stamp on the mobile phone space by its partnerships with the company. One partnership brought many of Microsoft’s apps — like Skype and Microsoft Office — to the platform, and another pre-loads Cortana.

This is the same kind of thing that carriers hope to do if they can secure a Cyanogen-based phone offering. In this case specifically, AT&T would be able to push “DirecTV, its subscription video service,” on customers in a “more prominent way” in hopes of generating “more revenue”. It’s the three-way deal of the devil, and — if it sees the light of day — it will run on hardware from Chinese company ZTE (which has trade sanctions imposed on it). It’s great for Cyanogen, AT&T, and ZTE — and no one else.

READ MORE: Wileyfox Swift: Unboxing Britain’s answer to OnePlus [Video]

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Stephen Hall

Stephen is Growth Director at 9to5. If you want to get in touch, follow me on Twitter. Or, email at stephen (at) 9to5mac (dot) com, or an encrypted email at hallstephenj (at) protonmail (dot) com.