Sunday, 16 December, 2018

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

Google bets big on smart feature phones with its latest investment in KaiOS the company that build software for Reliance JioPhone Google bets big on smart feature phones with its latest investment in KaiOS the company that build software for Reliance JioPhone
Sherri Watson | 01 July, 2018, 15:57

To popularize Assistant, Maps, and other services to those using feature phones, Google today invested $22 million in KaiOS.

Google will also be ensuring that apps like Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Search appear on KaiOS.

As we know the feature phone runs on KaiOS, an operating developed by the US-based company named KaiOS Technologies. Currently, more than 1.6 billion smartphones are being sold on which Google enabled services are present in more than 50% of these devices. And their sales are actually growing faster right now than their souped-up cousins. The company claims that there have been more than 40 million devices powered by the KaiOS that have been shipped till date. Its shipments, according to Counterpoint, have risen 11,400 per cent, compared to the same period past year.

Feature phones have largely become a niche worldwide.

"We're excited to work with Google to deliver its services on more mobile devices", said Codeville.

Google has revealed a major investment into feature phones as it looks to bring mobile connectivity to the world.

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. But instead of focusing on just low-priced smartphones, it is now broadening that horizon.

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. In fact, KaiOS's share in the Indian OS market has grown as high as 15% with the exponential growth of Reliance Jio's JioPhones.

The feature-phone platform has been a hit in India, thanks to the popular JioPhone device.

"Next Billion Users" is a team within Google that focus on the emerging markets.

The tech giant Google seems to be setting an aim to bring its popular services such as YouTube and Google Maps to KaiOS- powered feature phones such as the Nokia 8110 Matrix Phone and following the wish, Google is spending a gigantic amount of $22 million in KaiOS Technologies, a company that resides in Hong Kong that develops the feature packed phone platform in its Series A round of funding. The main feature of KaiOS in that it allows to implement on other games that support social networks, instant messengers and other things needed by a modern user.

Of course, Google's Android is available on a wide range of low-priced smartphones, which have proved to be increasingly popular in developing economies.

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

The tech giant makes investments in startups directly via its parent Alphabet Inc. and through two entities-GV, earlier known as Google Ventures, makes investments at the seed and early stage, while CapitalG, earlier known as Google Capital, makes late-stage investments.