Reliance Jio made a dent in the market by launching its own set of feature phones dubbed Jio Phone, two years back. The lineup even saw a successor in the form of Jio Phone 2 boasting QWERTY design in 2018. The software powering these phones is KaiOS, which also powers feature and entry-level phones by other brands. Thanks to the push it got from Jio in India, KaiOS now powers a whopping number of over 100 million devices all over the world. The two markets primarily dominated by the OS are Africa and Asia.
KaiOS Now Powers Over 100 Million Devices Globally
One of the commendable features added by the OS includes popular apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube to Jio Phone. Now that the OS has over a million users all across the globe, it has received a fresh round of funding by TCL and Google. The new series of funding brings $50 million investment to KaiOS. Previously, Google invested around $22 million and also had extended support for bringing apps such as Google Search, Google Maps, YouTube, Google Assistant, and more.
Bringing support for Google Assistant was a masterstroke as on a feature phone without a keyboard and just alphanumeric pad, it would be easier to summon Google Assistant to do tasks. Another phone in India that runs KaiOS is the Nokia 8110 4G.
How KaiOS Profited From Feature and Entry-level Phones
In the coming three years, the feature phone market is expected to touch $28 billion. Both Jio Phone and Nokia 8110 4G feature phones have appealed to a specific section of buyers who do not want a smartphone and would not want an utterly non-smart feature phone. This is where KaiOS made its print by making feature phones smarter. Phones powered by KaiOS acted as a middle ground for the buyers who wanted a feature phone with basic functions of a smartphone, including Google apps such as Maps, Search, and more. By adding support for other popular apps like WhatsApp and YouTube, the deal became even sweeter.
In India, Reliance Jio’s seamless 4G connectivity and similar service by other network providers, KaiOS-powered 4G feature phones became an instant hit. Based on HTML 5, KaiOS also allows companies to include their apps on KaiOS Store. This way, it gives a broader choice to the users. Now with the new round of funding, we can expect KaiOS to get more advanced and debut on more entry-level phones.