Smart feature phones are one of the major phone categories in India and one operating system that has emerged as the winner has to be KaiOS. This OS is present on devices such as the Reliance JioPhones, Nokia 8110 aka the ‘banana phone’. This OS is now the third most used operating system in the world as it crossed the 100 million installed devices mark.
Android and iOS pretty much dominate the smartphone space, but KaiOS is filling that gap between smartphones and feature phones. KaiOS has also raised $50 mn from Cathay Innovation and previous investors Google and TCL Holdings, according to a report in TechCrunch. KaiOS is present on over 100 million devices in 100 countries.
With the latest $50 mn investment, KaiOS’ total investments have gone up to $72 mn. Google had earlier invested $22 mn in the OS post which we saw the presence of Google Assistant, Maps and more on phones such as JioPhone.
While there were speculations of KaiOS investment since the Mobile World Congress that took place in Barcelona earlier this year, a spokesperson for KaiOS said the delay was caused due to the coordination with stakeholders.
As of April 2019, KaiOS running JioPhone has been the leader when it comes to feature phone sales in India. As per a Jio press release, JioPhone was said to occupy 30 percent of the market share making it a leader in the segment.
While smartphones are being sold in huge numbers in India, there are nearly 400 million feature phones in the country as well — which is still quite a massive market for feature phones.
In second place was Samsung with a 15 percent market share followed by Lava which came in third with a 13 percent share. The report claims that the feature phone market has been growing for the past three years and this category is expected to cross the one billion units mark by 2021.