KaiOS, one of the lesser known, but quite potent mobile operating systems has been making some phenomenal strides. The mobile OS, primarily meant for feature phones has been continually offering several functionalities that were hereto reserved for smartphones. The OS is now found on over 100 Million feature phones, making it one of the most commonly used platforms.
Over the course of just two years, KaiOS has steadily improved the prospects of feature phones by adding quite a few functions traditionally reserved for smartphones. Currently, KaiOS is the third most used mobile OS globally. With over 100 Million devices running KaiOS in active circulation, the company behind the same is looking at crossing a billion users within the next foreseeable future. With a fresh round of funding, the company is actively looking at penetrating new and emerging markets.
Last year, KaiOS received $22 Million in funding from Google, a company that already develops Android. Needless to say, Android is by far the most popular mobile operating system. However, realizing the potential of the lightweight but highly versatile KaiOS, Google added its Search, Maps and Assistant apps to the platform. This week, the developers of the OS received a new investment of $50 million. This round of funding is headlined by TCL and Google.
The funding is supposedly going to help in expansion of the KaiOS user base in new markets, indicated Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies, “Our mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and society by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.”
KaiOS is found on feature phones. The most popular devices are by far the Reliance Jio’s Jio Phone and JioPhone 2, followed to a lesser extent by the Nokia 8110. The OS witnessed amazing growth in 2018. Although India was one of the chief contributors to the growth statistics, the successful launch in Africa and its strategic partnerships with companies like Google, Facebook, and Qualcomm, has helped tremendously.
KaiOS is nowhere in the league of Android. However, it was never meant to compete against the popular mobile OS. KaiOS has a highly simplified interface that is optimized for non-touch controls. However, it is by no means a mere platform to enable mobile communication on feature phones. With extensive support for HTML 5 apps and 4G, GPS and NFC connectivity, feature phones running the OS have several popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Google Maps, Search, and even Google’s virtual assistant.