You would be forgiven if the name KaiOS doesn’t ring a bell at first thought. It’s after all just in the last couple of years that the OS for feature phones has started to pick up traction. In India, it was popularized to a large extend by Reliance Jio which offered some of the world’s cheapest data plans at its debut. KaiOS was loaded on to Jiophone, the company’s first cheap feature phone. Now, Kai OS is getting fresh $50million funding from Cathay Innovation, includes Google and TCL. This is the second time Google has funded the software company.
However, this time Google is also doing more than just funding. A handful of Google’s apps such as Youtube, Google Assistant, and Google Maps will also be running on the operating system soon. KaiOS has quietly become a growing feature platform as its partners have shipped over 100 million KaiOS devices to date. It also debuted recently in Africa.
KaiOS phones usually cost even less than Android Go devices with some even costing as low as $20. At that price, it’s a pretty bare-bones OS with some features like WhatsApp and new upcoming apps like Google’s Youtube. At $20, you can’t ask for more than that.