Samsung Mobile has hired Steve Kondik aka Cyanogen, known as one of the most notorious and successful Android Hackers, for an undisclosed amount as a Software Engineer. Looks like with the heating competition in the mobile handset space Samsung has opted to hunt down talent, while others are stockpiling patents.
Kondik is most prominent as the creator of CyanogenMod, an after-market customized firmware that provides new features and functionality to the Android platform. The Cyanogen firmware furnishes more than 40 different Android devices and as of mid-July 2011, it has been downloaded and installed on more than half a million devices. The firmware is most popular for bringing native theming, Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC), an OpenVPN client, USB tethering, and other performance enhancement functionalities.
At the moment, Samsung’s motives are not clear whether it is interested in CyanogenMod, or more in Kondik himself. Kondik’s recent comments on his Facebook and twitter profiles gave and impression that his job at Samsung will be mainly as a Software Engineer and he will take CyanogenMod as a side project with no affliation with his current employer. Regardless of Kondik’s comments, it is highly likely that Samsung is planning to ship their phones already running CyanogenMod, giving them an edge on other vendors.