Device platform company Cyanogen is reported to have undertaken significant job cuts, although it played-down reports of a “pivot” to focus on apps.

According to Android Police, which first reported the move, “significant” layoffs have taken place, with around 20 per cent of the 136 staff affected. The refocus is being conducted by Lior Tal, the recently-installed COO.

Cyanogen has been working to offer an alternative, Android-based platform (Cyanogen OS), which strips out Google’s products and services with rival offerings. The company has seen some significant backing – from Foxconn, Twitter, Qualcomm, Telefonica Ventures and Tencent among others – and has also partnered with Microsoft to support the computing giant’s products and services.

In addition to its own commercial OS, an open-source version has also been available, called CyanogenMod. Staff working on this are reported to be among those affected.

In a blog post, Cyanogen co-founder Steve Kondik said that “we are not ‘pivoting to apps’, nor are we shelving [CyanogenMod]. We’ll have further information soon”.

The commercial Cyanogen OS platform has struggled to generate much success. A deal with OnePlus came to an ignominious end when Cyanogen inked a conflicting deal with Micromax, and the platform has also been used by European minnow Wileyfox.

Acknowledging this, Kondik wrote: “Perhaps it doesn’t need to ‘go big’ to work. I’m still wildly inspired by the idea of a platform which forces participation”.

The European Commission is currently in the process of looking into Google’s Android business practices, and one aspect of this is whether the search giant has looked to limit the take-up of alternative Android platforms.

While it is not clear if this is something that has impacted Cyanogen, it is fair to say that such offerings have not gained much traction.