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Google invests $ 22 million in feature phone OS,`KaiOS`

01 July, 2018, 15:58 | Author: Tara Roberts
  • Google invests $22M in feature phone operating system KaiOS		
			
		Jon Russell					Ingrid Lunden		
	7 hours

Well, with that much amount and persistence, the deal looks promising.

Google will also be ensuring that apps like Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Search appear on KaiOS. The KaiOS Technologies powered Jio Phone has been phenomenal in India which now is the leading feature phone in the market running 4G data and VoLTE services. Early this year, KaiOS-powered Nokia phones had gotten a suite of Google apps.

In 2017, KaiOS's deployed the 4G-enabled Jio Phone coupled with low-priced data services.

According to the CEO of KaiOS, Sebastian Codeville, the investment from Google would assist in an improved rate of development of deployment of KaiOS-powered smart feature phones globally that can enable connectivity with a large population which is still unable to access the internet noted profoundly in the emerging markets.

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KaiOS works with manufacturers like TCL, HMD Global, and Micromax and has partnerships with carriers such as Reliance Jio, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

JioPhone that looks like a feature phone but offers nearly all the functionalities of a smartphone was launched in July 2017. On the other hand, there are promising opportunities for the evolution of feature phones and improvement in their functionality which implies the possibilities for holding on to feature phone users.

To be clear, Google services are not the only ones on KaiOS. While Firefox OS never really took off, KaiOS seems to be doing a decent job of providing a gateway to internet portals for feature phone users. Our flagship product, KaiOS, is a web-based operating system that enables a new category of smart feature phones and other IoT devices that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience. Globally, KaiOS saw demand rise by 11,400 per cent, with 23 million devices powered by its OS being shipped during the quarter. It has catapulted JioPhone to leadership position in the feature phone segment. But Reliance Jio is leading the space with a whopping 97 percent market share. Going back even further, Google announced in December 2017 that it would bring Assistant to the platform. While the suite of apps now is limited, thanks to the lack of an app store, Google wants to change this by providing Google services like Maps, Google Assistant, etc. for internet users in emerging markets.

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