Google invests $22 mn in feature phone OS,'KaiOS'

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Internet Giant Google has announced an investment of $22 million in KaiOS Technologies, the developer of the operating system used in JioPhone, the hugely successful 4G feature phone Jio developed for its users. KaiOS enables smartphone-like features and native apps into low-priced feature phones.

KaiOS works with manufacturers such as TCL (Alcatel, BlackBerry), HMD Global (Nokia) and Micromax and has partnerships with carriers such as Reliance Jio, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. KaiOS is a fork of FirefoxOS, and is actually quite popular - it's already on 40 million feature phones, including various Nokia phones.

As we know the feature phone runs on KaiOS, an operating developed by the US-based company named KaiOS Technologies.

Ever since smartphones became a thing, feature phones began fading away. "We're excited to work with Google to deliver its services on more mobile devices".

To be clear, Google services are not the only ones on KaiOS.

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KaiOS was built by an American company of the same name, which looks to bring the advantages of smartphones to feature phones. With the launch of 4G-enabled JioPhone, the new telco disrupted the feature phone market and breathed a new sense of competition in an otherwise tiresome mobile phone category.

Firefox OS was a relatively short-lived operating system that powered a range of low-powered phones and smart TVs before it was discontinued completely in January 2017. It sold around 21 million units for the quarter, roughly 7 million per month, and commands about 36 per cent share of the feature phone segment in the first quarter of the CY.

About KaiOS Technologies KaiOS Technologies powers an emerging ecosystem of affordable digital products and services.

In an attempt to further its reach among the non-smartphone-using masses, Google has invested Dollars 22 million in a start-up called KaiOS Technologies.

The Reliance Jio Phone is available in the market for a security deposit of Rs 1,500, refundable after 3 years. It added apps for Twitter and Facebook earlier this year, and it mixes dedicated KaiOS apps - WhatsApp is said to be coming - with others that are more basic HTML-5 web apps. The JioPhone even supports 4G VoLTE and has a voice-based browser. Just because you're using a low-powered device doesn't mean you should be without the delights of YouTube and Google Maps, according to Google.

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