If I were to ask you what are the most common operating systems for mobile devices in the world, you would all answer correctly or at least get close to them. Android and iOS are the undisputed top dogs, right? Almost. A third competitor is emerging, but is not really in direct competition with the two giants, so much so that it is receiving funding directly from Google itself!
The world's third largest mobile OS
If I told you about KaiOS, most of you probably wouldn't know what I was talking about. A new custom ROM? An Android skin from an unknown manufacturer? No, not at all. KaiOS is the third most popular mobile operating system in the world but it has nothing to do with smartphones.
The operating system has seen growing popularity in India, a country which is developing strongly, however, the wealth is not yet so widespread as to allow everyone to buy a smartphone. Driven by Indian operator Jio and its Jiophone, KaiOS arrived in Europe aboard HMD's Nokia 3310 and Nokia 8110 and its growth now seems to be unstoppable.
KaiOS is a software dedicated to so-called feature phones (called dumb phones by some. You may know them as those phones with a candy bar shape, with physical keys and T9 keyboard. In a nutshell, what we now consider phones for old folks. However, KaiOS brings with it many interesting features related to the web and guarantees access wireless networks, and therefore also to information, for many people with limited budgets.
New funds will increase the spread of KaiOS
KaiOS has attracted the attention of many technological giants including Google and Facebook. Big G had already announced the arrival of its key apps on KaiOS at MWC 2018, and at the moment, it is already possible to access Google Maps, YouTube and Google Assistant from feature phones equipped with this system. Recently, Facebook announced the arrival of a version of WhatsApp optimized for these smartphones in a reduced version.
The latest news, communicated directly by the company, concerns the arrival of a further $50 million of investment from Cathay Innovation, which includes, among others, Google and TCL. This will help KaiOS to improve and spread even faster. The low cost of the devices and the lack of direct competition with modern smartphones are causing KaiOS to grow at an almost unprecedented rate. These new investments indicate that even the big names in the industry are interested in this ever-growing market segment.
Do you have a device with KaiOS in your hands? Have you already tried Google Assistant and WhatsApp? Let us know in the comments.