Press releases

Introducing the world’s most affordable smart feature phone – The Digit 4G

Islamabad, Pakistan <23 January 2020> –  Today, Jazz, Pakistan’s leading digital communications company, KaiOS Technologies, maker of the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, and Swift Biz Solutions, the innovative technology-based products company with its brand Digit, announced a new smart feature phone for Pakistan’s masses – the Digit 4G. Upon launch, the Digit 4G will become the most affordable smart feature phone on the global market, at a down payment of just PKR 1800 (USD 11).

Coupled with a 12-month service agreement and access to popular apps such as WhatsApp, the Google Assistant, Facebook, and YouTube, this KaiOS-enabled device bridges the mobile digital divide in a country where less than 30% of people have access to mobile broadband, according to the GSMA. Through the KaiStore, users will have access to an expanding selection of apps and other unique local content.

Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz, who has been championing #DigitalPakistan for the past two years, said,

“We want 2020 to start with this new device setting the benchmark for a nationwide 4G revolution. Yes, we have successfully tested 5G, but our biggest challenge and opportunity is to take 2G customers to 4G and to offer good quality broadband to every Pakistani. We saw an inequality, and we went ahead and tried to fix it with this affordable phone.”

“We’re excited to help bring a new device to the people of Pakistan,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “The digital divide continues to be a persistent issue across the country, but we know smart feature phones, like the Digit 4G, will positively impact the lives of new users.”

“Digit is a trusted name in the market. Our focus in launching this phone is using cutting-edge technology for durability, affordability and ease of use. The content and customized applications will allow every Pakistani to benefit from digitialization with access to services and products at their fingertips. The product comes with Digit’s commitment of high quality and best after-sales services,” said Mr Abdul Rehman Mahmood CEO Digit.

Per the GSMA’s Pakistan report, 40% of mobile phone owners in the country remain disconnected from the internet’s digital resources due to a lack of digital literacy, and the Digit 4G combats this with an easy-to-use interface, and more importantly a built-in Google Assistant. Voice is a natural way for first-time internet users to access information easily, so they can quickly broaden their knowledge and connection to the digital world.

Available at select Jazz retail outlets, the Digit 4G comes with a competitive service bundle, including 1,000 minutes of talk time, 1,000 SMS, 1GB internet, and three months of free internet usage of WhatsApp and Facebook. With 4G connectivity and an incredibly long battery, the Digit 4G makes high-speed internet more accessible and affordable for Pakistan’s millions of disconnected people.

KaiOS is a light operating system, which enables a new category of affordable smart feature phones that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience. It supports 3G + 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS and Hotspot. KaiOS-enabled phones come with popular apps and services like WhatsApp, Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps, as well as a store for apps called the KaiStore with over three hundred essential apps, from both global and local content providers. It is now the third largest mobile operating system worldwide, running on over 130 million devices shipped across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

 

About KaiOS Technologies

KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 130 million devices shipped in over 100 countries. Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like the Google Assistant, WhatsApp, YouTube, Facebook, and Google Maps.

About Jazz

Jazz is Pakistan’s largest digital telecommunication company. Serving over 60 million subscribers across the country.

About Swift Biz Solutions (Digit)

Swift Biz Solutions is a decade old company working in the technology space in Pakistan. The company holds major market share in mobile broadband devices in the year 2019. The company has been serving the needs of technology solution and products of Telecom operators of Pakistan.

Jazz Media Contact

Faisal Mushtaq/ Sheeraz
0321-2431568/0333-2235774

KaiOS Media Contact

Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139 3746 / +1 206 423-6081

Company updates

Here’s what we’ve been doing in Asia

We’ve done a lot in Africa this year, but we haven’t been focused on just Africa – we’ve been working to expand our reach in Asia, too.
We recently partnered with industry leaders Indosat Ooredoo, Telenor, and QMobile to make mobile internet accessible in Indonesia and Pakistan. We also began working with new media and entertainment companies – including Disney and UC Browser – to bring more quality content to users of smart feature phones in the region.
Our efforts haven’t gone unnoticed  – we even won an award at this year’s China Mobile Innovation Competition for our contributions to the mobile industry.
And to better support our partners in the region, we’re continuing to grow our offices in Xi’An, Shanghai, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Bangalore.
Read more about these Asia updates below.

QMobile and Telenor launch Pakistan’s first KaiOS device 


Pakistanis can now enjoy mobile internet and apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, and Google Maps on affordable smart feature phones. The $25 USD (Pakistan Rs. 4000) QMobile 4G Plus’ unmatched durability, long-lasting battery life, and three-month bundle with free internet make it an appealing model for those looking to upgrade from feature phones. Check out more information about the device here.

Indosat Ooredoo launches its first KaiOS-powered device in Indonesia


In celebration of its 52nd anniversary, Indosat Ooredoo, Indonesia’s leading digital telecommunications provider is launching its first smart feature phone, Hape Online. The new device comes with WhatsApp, the Google Assistant, and 1GB of free data per month for a year. Read more about the launch.

Disney characters come to the KaiStore


Children’s favorite characters is available on KaiOS-powered phones in Vietnam as part of the wallpaper shop app in the KaiStore. More Disney content will be coming to Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and India soon. Find out more.

UC Browser now available for free on KaiOS


A browsing tool that’s also a content platform, the UC Browser, developed by Alibaba’s UCWeb, is now available on KaiOS. Read more about our partnership.

Kai wins award in China Mobile Innovation Competition 


We won a Swan Award in the Best Terminal Solutions of the Year category in this year’s China Mobile Innovation Competition for our leadership in mobile solutions within our niche market.

Job openings in Kai’s Asia offices 

We’re growing our offices in Hong Kong, Xi’An, Shanghai, Taipei, and Bangalore, and we’d love to have you joining. Check out our job openings.

Press releases

QMobile, Telenor launch QMobile 4G Plus, Pakistan’s first KaiOS-powered device

Affordability, a long-lasting battery, durability unmatched by smartphones, and a special three-month bundle deal with free internet are the QMobile 4G Plus’ biggest selling points.
Like other smart feature phones running on KaiOS, the QMobile 4G Plus has 4G and Wi-Fi, GPS, and comes with 512MB RAM/4GB ROM. It also supports WhatsApp, the Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, and over 200 other apps which can be downloaded from the KaiStore.
Sold for $25.6 USD (Pakistan Rs. 4000), it’s an affordable option for first-time internet users.
 
 

Press releases

Support digital equality in Indonesia through the launch of IM3 Ooredoo’s first KaiOS-powered 4G smart feature phone

Solo, 11 December 2019 – Indosat Ooredoo, Indonesia’s leading digital telecommunications company, for 52 years contributes to Indonesia by continuously innovating to bring the best digital experience for customers. This time, Indosat Ooredoo through IM3 Ooredoo, presented Hape Online, the first KaiOS 4G Smart Feature Phone as a solution for novice internet users who are looking for a low-cost mobile phone with many advantages, so that digital equality occurs throughout Indonesia. This Hape Online – 4G Smart Feature Phone launched as a result of collaboration with Advan, KaiOS Technologies – the maker of KaiOS, the leading operating system for smart feature phones, and MediaTek, a global IC design company.
This launch is a major step towards Indonesia digital inclusion, bringing first-time mobile users in the fold of digital life. Available at Rp449.000, this Hape Online – 4G smart feature phone will be bundled with IM3 Freedom Combo package. Customers will get benefits of free internet quota 1GB/month and free call to IM3 Ooredoo customers, unlimited for 24 hours, just simply reload the credit for Rp10.000 but the customer’s credit will not be deducted. This benefit can be enjoyed for 12 months. Hape Online – 4G Smart Feature Phone with bundling package can be obtained in the area of Medan, Pekanbaru, Lampung, West Java, East Java, Palu, and Makassar start from 28 December 2019.

Chief Sales & Distribution Officer Indosat Ooredoo, Hendri Mulya Syam, said “We are always committed to become part of the advancement of the nation, especially in the digital technology aspect. This time we want to support digital equality across Indonesia by presenting Hape Online – 4G Smart Feature Phone powered by KaiOS which has a saving price with many advantages for customers. We hope this step will improve the quality of life of society so that it can accelerate the growth of Indonesia digital economy.
“Advan Indonesia positively welcome to launch Hape Online – 4G Smart Feature Phone powered by KaiOS. This is our first step for Advan and Indosat Ooredoo to make a commitment to see greater opportunities for the people of Indonesia to access the 4G network with Mobile Online – Smart Features at an affordable price.

Aria Wahyudi said, GM Marketing Advan.
The IM3 Ooredoo and Advan bundled 4G smart feature phone will come equipped with KaiOS and a MediaTek chipset. KaiOS-powered devices provide access to apps such as WhatsApp, Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps, as well as a store for apps called the KaiStore, which provides access to over two hundred essential apps and counting, from global and local content providers. KaiOS is now the third-largest mobile operating system worldwide, running on over 110 million devices shipped across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
We’re thrilled to be working alongside Indosat Ooredoo and Advan to launch the first KaiOS-powered smart feature phone in Indonesia,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “Its access to devices such as this, that will unlock a world of possibilities for users who have been long-term impacted by the digital divide and ultimately improve their lives for the better.

We see Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia as an important market for our technology and are committed to working with telecommunication providers and device makers to bring our latest innovations to the consumers to enhance their user experience and connectivity.  That is why we are excited to play a part by collaborating with Indosat Ooredoo and Advan, powering the new 4G smart feature phone with our MediaTek MT6731 chipset for better user experience.” said Cedric Chang, Deputy Director, Corporate Sales of Southeast Asia, MediaTek.
For more information about Hape Online – 4G Smart Feature Phone powered by KaiOS, you can see the website e im3ooredoo.com/hape-online

About Indosat Ooredoo
Indosat Ooredoo (IDX:ISAT), member of Ooredoo Group, is building Indonesia’s leading digital telco, enabling access and greater connectivity for everybody and every business. Indosat Ooredoo aspires to enrich the lives of Indonesians in the digital world.
The Company reported 58.8 million mobile customers as of Q3 2019 and operates 29.317 4G BTS covers more than 83.5% of population.
For other information about Indosat Ooredoo, please contact :
Turina Farouk – SVP – Head of Corporate Communications
+62 815 1010 8000
E-mail : Turina.farouk@indosatooredoo.com
Website : www.indosatooredoo.com
Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCxcHb7vNkSPnXYVp9E03JHQ
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IndosatOoredoo/   

About Ooredoo
Ooredoo is an international communications company operating across the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia. Serving consumers and businesses in 10 countries, Ooredoo delivers the leading data experience through a broad range of content and services via its advanced, data-centric mobile and fixed networks.
Ooredoo generated revenues of QAR 30 billion as of 31 December 2018. Its shares are listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.
Twitter: @Ooredoo
Facebook: facebook.com/ooredoogroup
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/ooredoo
YouTube: www.youtube.com/ooredoogroup

About KaiOS Technologies 
KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 100 million devices shipped in over 100 countries. Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like the Google Assistant, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps, and Twitter.

KaiOS Media Contact 
Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139 3746 / +1 206 423-6081

Industry insights

How smart feature phones help the unbanked

While many people take for granted everything from swiping a credit card to contributing to a savings account, millions of people around the world are not connected to banking institutions.
Take Africa, for example. As of 2014, 66% of the adult population in sub-Saharan Africa remained “unbanked.” Although traditional banks exist in this area, unaffordable banking fees, mistrust of financial institutions, and a lack of understanding of internet banking options keep Africans outside of the banking system.
Smart feature phones are increasing financial inclusion by creating opportunities for the unbanked.

What does it mean to be unbanked?

The term “unbanked” describes anyone who does not have a bank account or any services tied to a banking institution, such as a debit or credit card. The unbanked rely on cash payments and are often unable to plan for their financial future.
As of June 2018, over 1.7 billion adults worldwide did not have access to a bank account. Unbanked populations are particularly large in Low-to-Middle Income Countries (LMICs):

Source: Forbes

What causes someone to remain unbanked?

While there are many reasons that someone might be unbanked, it often boils down to a few main causes.

1. Lack of knowledge or access

Opening a bank account is a bureaucratic process requiring paperwork that may be difficult to understand, particularly in areas with low literacy rates. Plus, banks require proof of a stable income to open an account, but any people in emerging markets do not have formal jobs or stable salaries.
Access to physical bank locations is a common issue as well. Residents of rural communities are forced to travel long distances while carrying large amounts of cash just to reach a bank.

2. Cost

Traveling to reach faraway banks is not just inconvenient but also costly. In addition to the price of using public transportation, people must also absorb the losses caused by missing hours or even days of work due to the time spent in transit.
Even if banks are physically accessible, the cost of keeping a bank account open can be enough to put them out of reach of many locals. Unfortunately, banks in developing countries are known for charging predatory fees for everything from printing a bank statement to completing a basic transaction.

3. Mistrust

Financial institutions are sometimes assumed guilty of embezzlement or fraud, which creates a lack of trust in the entire system. As such, many people feel that their money is more secure under a mattress in their own homes rather than in a bank.
Online banking is also clouded with mistrust. The fear of having a bank account hacked or losing money during an online transaction makes people wary of using online banking services.

Smart feature phones make mobile money accessible

Mobile money, aka mobile financial services (MFS), allows users to send, receive, and store money without needing a bank account. Funds are stored in a secure electronic account attached to a mobile phone number. However, because mobile money requires an internet connection, customers need more than a basic cell phone to take advantage of it.

Enter the smart feature phone, which offers mobile internet connectivity at a fraction of the cost of a touchscreen smartphone. And starting in 2020, KaiOS-powered smart feature phones will allow users to receive money, contribute to their personal savings, and even manage business finances — all with mobile money services.
Currently, Africa is the number one adopter of mobile money, followed by South Asia and Latin America. We have several regional partnerships in Africa that make smart feature phones available for as little as $20 and are working to bring similarly priced devices to additional markets.
Lives around the world are already being positively affected by mobile money.

MiCash leverages financial literacy education to gain mobile money customers in Papua New Guinea


Source: MiBank
Only 15-20% of Papua New Guinea’s population has access to financial services. In 2012, Nationwide Microbank set out to address the unbanked by launching MiCash.
MiCash leverages financial literacy education to gain new mobile money customers. In an effort to better serve residents of villages and rural towns, Nationwide invests in below-the-line (BTL) marketing campaigns. Their efforts involve visiting plantations and rural districts to educate people, especially women, about mobile money and the importance of financial planning.
Through their free financial literacy training, Nationwide teaches locals about the benefits of using MFS and explains how to open a mobile money account. Thanks in part to this comprehensive training, 90% of MiCash accounts are active each month.
MiCash ambassadors also help spread the word. As Nationwide is particularly interested in supporting financial autonomy for women, they recruit female ambassadors from south of Papua New Guinea’s capital, Port Moresby. Ambassadors are active MiCash users who are brought to villages north of the capital to teach the locals all about the advantages of mobile money and how to start using it.

Operator wallets provide an alternative to cash transactions

Operator wallets, also called mobile wallets, are in-house apps run by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) that enable phones to be used to store, send, or receive money. They provide a convenient and secure alternative to cash transactions. Millions of unbanked people are able to improve their financial situation thanks to services such as bill payment, savings accounts, and international money transfers.

Tigo Money serves the unbanked in Bolivia

Mobile penetration in Bolivia is 95%, but 60% of the population remains unbanked, making it an ideal area to introduce a mobile money service.
When Tigo Money launched in 2012, it offered cash-in, cash-out, person-to-person (P2P) transfers, as well as the ability to top up airtime minutes. Eventually, they added bill payment and ecommerce payment options as well. By June 2017, Tigo Money had reached 428,000 active users.

They’ve already spread to new areas. Tigo recently announced the launch of the KaiOS-powered Kitochi 4G smart in Tanzania, which will be sold for $21 USD and will provide access to Tigo Money services.

Orange Money drives economic growth in 17 countries

When Orange Money launched in 2008, it focused on money transfers and mobile phone top-ups. Now, Orange Money allows 40 million customers across 17 countries to make international money transfers, pay bills, and send and receive wage payments.

Before Orange Money, many families had to travel long distances to deliver cash to relatives. Now, families in several African countries can purchase Orange’s KaiOS-powered phones for $20 (3G) or $28 (4G) and then transfer funds with the touch of a button.
The ecommerce industry has benefitted as well. In the past, e-commerce businesses have struggled to make online sales because many Africans fear credit card fraud. However, Orange Money is now a trusted alternative to credit cards and has helped boost ecommerce throughout the continent. It has also begun offering loans and savings services to customers in Mali and Madagascar and has partnered with Canal+ TV to allow users to pay for TV subscriptions with Orange Money.

Mowali enables mobile money transfers across multiple providers

A partnership between MTN and Orange resulted in a versatile mobile money solution called Mowali, which is derived from “mobile wallet interoperability.” By making it possible to transfer money between different operators, Mowali essentially connects 338 million mobile money accounts across the African continent.

Source: Eagle Online

Interoperability allows users to make online and in-person purchases, regardless of the vendor’s mobile money operator. The objective of this impressive project is to promote the everyday use of mobile money for everything from person-to-person transfers to ecommerce.

Keep up with KaiOS

We are passionate about bridging the digital divide and allowing the next billion users to enjoy all the benefits of mobile connectivity. Follow us on Twitter to stay up to date with our work as we forge new partnerships, receive creative content from developers, and share stories of how mobile internet and smart feature phones can improve lives around the world.

Company updates

KaiOS Technologies announces two new board members

Hong Kong, 26 November 2019 – KaiOS Technologies announces the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors: Sonia Jorge, Executive Director of the Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI), and Denis Barrier, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Cathay Innovation.

Sonia Jorge (@SoniaA4AI)

Executive Director of the Alliance For Affordable Internet (A4AI) 

Sonia is an expert in the confluence of development and communications policy, with over 25 years of international experience in a career spanning both the private and not-for-profit sectors. As Executive Director of A4AI, she manages policy, membership, partner and country engagement, as well as other work across A4AI.

Sonia’s work has included ICT policy and regulatory advice, as well as analysis, strategic industry planning, national ICT/broadband policy development. She has also been instrumental in the creation of new legal and regulatory frameworks to address issues around competition, cost-based pricing, spectrum management, and infrastructure development and sharing. Sonia is an avid advocate of gender equality in development. She has worked extensively to promote gender analysis and awareness in the ICT planning process, and to create understanding of the importance of universal access and digital inclusion for development.

Read more about Sonia on the A4AI website.

Denis Barrier (@denisbarrier)

Co-Founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation

Denis co-founded Cathay Innovation, a global venture capital fund affiliated to Cathay Capital and founded to support entrepreneurs engaged in the sustainable transformation of the world through technology.He is also a managing partner of Cathay Capital, a Private Equity Group with a unique approach to understand the deep transformations happening globally, and activating this knowledge by helping entrepreneurs to thrive.  Before, he was at Iris Capital where he managed the international activities of the Orange/Publicis fund. He has also been the Head of Corporate Venture at Orange Telecom, and a Managing Director at Innovacom. In addition, he worked as an Officer at the French Treasury Department, in charge of all French Sovereign holdings in the Aerospace, Defense, and Media industries.
Denis has a deep technical background, starting his career as a researcher in the laboratories of Orange Telecom, working mainly on semiconductor quantum dots. He holds a Ph.D. in solid-state Physics, is a graduate of Ecole Normale Supérieure, and is an engineer of Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications. He has also been a Member of the French Council for Entrepreneurship.

Find out more about Denis and Cathay Capital on the fund’s website.
KaiOS media contact
Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com/ scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139-3746 / +1(206) 423-6081

Press releases

KaiOS named to TIME’s list of the 100 Best Inventions of 2019

Hong Kong, <21 November 2019> – Today, TIME revealed its annual list of the 100 Best Inventions that are making the world better, smarter, and even a bit more fun. KaiOS, the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, has been recognized on this list in the Social Good category, as a driving force in making the internet more affordable—and hence accessible—to all.
Making mobile internet more affordable has vast implications for consumers, carriers, and manufacturers. Recent research indicates that over four billion people are still not connected to the internet. Device affordability is a critical blocker, and KaiOS solves this problem by providing a light operating system that requires little memory and other system resources. This approach keeps the price of devices low; KaiOS-enabled phones can retail for as little as US$20 with a battery life of at least several days.
KaiOS Technologies provides its operating system to manufacturers and mobile operators, allowing these partners to develop smart feature phones. These devices have the essential features of a smartphone—a store for apps, Wi-Fi, 3G/4G, NFC, GPS—but in the form-factor of a feature phone. On the content side, KaiOS works with the leading global players—WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps—but also with local app developers in each market to provide locally relevant apps.
“We’re excited and honored to be selected by TIME,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “Our mission of bridging the global digital divide not only led to the invention of KaiOS but continues to guide our ongoing innovation. Today, we’ve already powered more than 110 million devices in over 100 countries, and are continuously expanding into more emerging markets with a growing content ecosystem to fuel the digital revolution. We’re thrilled that KaiOS has made a name for itself around the world, and we hope that KaiOS-powered smart feature phones will help spread access to valuable digital resources, regardless of location or wealth.”
For first-time internet users in emerging markets, benefits of connecting to the internet include access to information, accessibility to education, boosting work opportunities and productivity (and hence the economy at large), financial inclusion (e.g., micro-loans, insurance, banking, payment), and women’s empowerment.
To assemble the 2019 TIME Best Inventions list, TIME solicited nominations across a variety of categories from editors and correspondents around the world, as well as through an online application process. Each contender was then evaluated on key factors, including originality, effectiveness, ambition and influence. The result: 100 groundbreaking inventions that are changing the way we live, work, play and think about what’s possible.
See the full list here: time.com/bestinventions2019
See the international cover of TIME featuring the 100 Best Inventions of 2019 here: https://bit.ly/331y8jr
See the description featuring KaiOS as one of the 100 Best Inventions of 2019 here: https://time.com/collection/best-inventions-2019/5733125/kaios/  

About KaiOS Technologies
KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 110 million devices shipped in over 100 countries. Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like WhatsApp, The Google Assistant, Facebook, YouTube, and Google Maps.
 
KaiOS Media Contact
Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139 3746 / +1 206 423-6081

Press releases

KaiOS Technologies brings Disney’s beloved characters to the KaiStore

Hong Kong, <20 November 2019> – KaiOS Technologies, maker of KaiOS, the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, today announced that Disney’s timeless storytelling and beloved characters will be coming to millions of smart feature phones in the form of fun wallpapers and other content through the KaiStore.
The content will be optimized for the KaiOS platform and will feature a host of themed wallpapers, graphics and games from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars.
Our mission is to close the digital divide but that doesn’t stop at making devices and connectivity affordable; we must also give everyone access to the same amazing entertainment, a space in which Disney is an absolute leader,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies.Disney has had a profound impact on entertainment, and giving its creations a home in the KaiStore enables users everywhere to marvel at the latest superhero series or take a trip down memory lane with the all-time Disney classics.
KaiOS enables a new category of affordable smart feature phones that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience. It supports 3G and 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. Disney’s content joins popular apps and services like the Google Assistant, WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, and Twitter. The Disney content will become available on KaiOS later this year in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and India. All new digital Disney content will be available to purchase via KaiPay, KaiOS’s in-house online payment solution.
Kai has shipped more than 100 million devices in over 100 countries. Together with its partners, Kai aims to bring mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.

About KaiOS Technologies 
KaiOS Technologies powers an ecosystem of affordable digital products and services, and exists to empower people around the world through technology. Its flagship product, KaiOS, is the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones with more than 100 million devices shipped in over 100 countries. Kai’s mission is to open up new possibilities for individuals, organizations, and societies by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones. KaiOS is based on HTML5 and other open web technologies. Devices running on the platform require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience through access to apps like the Google Assistant, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps, and Twitter.

KaiOS Media Contact 
Eletta Leung / Sarah Collins
eletta.leung@kaiostech.com / scollins@hoffman.com
+852 9139 3746 / +1 206 423-6081

Partnership news

AfricaCom 2019: KaiOS Technologies announces new partnerships, devices and demonstrates a growing content ecosystem

We’re in Cape Town, South Africa at AfricaCom 2019, where we’re discussing our mission of closing the digital divide by making the internet more accessible to all. Africa has almost 800 million people disconnected from the internet, and KaiOS is poised to radically decrease this statistic by offering new affordable devicesfocusing on regional partnershipsand bringing essential apps and services to the community. 
KaiOS-powered smart feature phones bring smartphone-level features to inexpensive feature phone hardware, making vital digital resources like banking, healthcare, education, and communications more readily available. This is especially valuable in rural areas, where traditional internet connections are virtually nonexistent.
Kai is excited to announce several new devices and partnerships, all aimed at expanding access to smart feature phones, high-quality educational resources, and localized digital content. 

Key Regional Partnerships  

Vodacom, Azumi and MediaTek – Smart Kitochi

We’ve partnered alongside mobile powerhouses Vodacom, Azumi, and MediaTek to help eliminate the digital divide for millions of disconnected Tanzanians,by the Smart Kitochi, Tanzania’s first affordable smart feature phone. Packing smartphone-level features like 3G/4G, WiFi, and GPS, the Smart Kitochi costs $20 USD and has already surpassed all sales projections in its first two weeks of availability. Learn more about the Smart Kitochi here. 

Orange and Intel – Sanza XL 

Another exciting announcement, stemming from our continued partnership with Orange, is the Sanza XL, a 4G-enabled sequel to the original KaiOS-powered Sanza smart feature phone that includes a larger 2.8” screen and an improved 2 Megapixel camera. Manufactured by Intel, the Sanza XL will be available for $28 USD in seven countries in Africa and the Middle East: Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Jordan, Mali, and Senegal. Learn more about the next generation of one of Africa’s most popular KaiOS-powered devices here. 

Africell – Afriphone

Africell launched the first 3G smart feature phone in Gambia: the Afriphone. This KaiOS-powered device includes Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC, and also enables users to access more than 200 apps via the KaiStore, including YouTube, WhatsApp, and The Google Assistant. Afriphone will be the first KaiOS-powered device launched in the Gambia and Sierra Leone, and it will soon be available in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well. Learn more about the Afriphone here. 

Tigo – Kitochi 4G Smart

Expanding the reach of KaiOS-powered devices in Africa, Tigo and Kai have partnered to launch the Kitochi 4G Smart in Tanzania. Retailing for $21 USD, this affordable smart feature phone enables users to access smartphone-level apps, including WhatsApp, The Google Assistant, and Facebook. This partnership is also a key step in connecting users in Eastern Africa, as KaiOS-powered devices have rolled out in Uganda, Rwanda, and now Tanzania. Read more about the Kitochi 4G Smart here. 
Building Content Ecosystem: In-House Educational App Now Live in Africa 

Life App 

Delivering high-quality, localized educational resources covering Digital Skills, Education, Health, Gender Equality, Agriculture, and Finances, Kai’s in-house app Life for smart feature phones is now available in Africa. Kai collaborates with trusted groups and NGOs, including Funzi, Worldreader, Care, Girl Effect, Tambero, Esoko, Cell-Ed, We Farm, iCow, and Ubongo, to achieve greater impact together.
The most accessed section of Life is Digital Skills, which was developed in partnership with the GSMA to ensure that users learn proper digital literacy skills through the app. Kai and the GSMA also developed a new MISTT training module, equipping carrier partners to teach first-time smart feature phone users about KaiOS. Now available to KaiOS users in Nigeria, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Africa, Life will be available in more African countries soon. Learn more about Life’s educational resources here. 
Press Event: Tanzania’s First Smart Feature Phone 
Following the first year of smart feature phones in Africa, we held a joint press event alongside partners Vodacom, Azumi, and MediaTek to celebrate our newly forged partnership, and further highlight the Smart Kitochi, Tanzania’s first smart feature phone.

Keynote: Redefining the Modern Telco 

While onsite in Cape Town, Kai’s Vice President of Business Development for EMEA, Matthieu Bacquias, presented on the impact KaiOS has on the business model of telcos and how we address the modern challenges they face. Adapted for emerging markets, KaiOS’ unique ecosystem focuses on a simple user experience, delivering smartphone-level features in affordable devices. These features include support for 3G/4G internet connectivity, hotspot capabilities, and popular apps like The Google Assistant, WhatsApp, and Facebook, all packed in an easy-to-use device which is designed with first time internet users in mind.
Matthieu also explored how the accessibility of KaiOS-powered smart feature phones helps telcos grow their revenue. These affordable devices enable carriers to reach an untapped customer base, and migrate legacy 2G plans to 3G/4G. In this way KaiOS has connected millions of people to the internet and aforementioned digital services for the first time, with more than 105 million devices in over 100 countries.
Finally, Matthieu spoke to KaiOS’ partnerships, which even aside from the KaiStore’s list of top-tier applications and developers, boasts a wide variety of industry leaders. In addition to carrier partners around the world, Kai works with organizations Funzi, Worldreader, Care, Girl Effect, Tambero, Esoko, Cell-Ed, and We Farm, to provide high-quality educational resources through the in-house Life app. These partnerships illustrate Kai’s commitment to delivering not only accessible devices, but also locally relevant content to enrich the lives of those accessing the internet for the first time.

KaiOS Recognized with AfricaCom’s Changing Lives Award 
What’s better for a perfect wrap up than a proud winner of the AfricaCom Award!

We’re pleased to announce AfricaCom Awards has honored KaiOS with, the Changing Lives Award which celebrates a product, initiative or social enterprise that has a life-changing impact on individuals or communities throughout Africa. We’ve forged partnerships with carriers, manufacturers and developers to help make internet access affordable and ubiquitous for the billions of people who are still unconnected, as well as giving them access to digital resources like education, health and financial services. We’re particularly proud of this recognition as it serves as a proof point to our dedication towards our mission of improving lives of those in the emerging markets by bridging the digital divide.

Partnership news

Tigo launches their first KaiOS-powered smart feature phone in Tanzania

Tanzania’s leading digital lifestyle company, Tigo Tanzania, announced the launch of their first 4G smart feature phone, Kitochi 4G Smart, powered by KaiOS, the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones in early November. The new device is now available for pre-order from all Tigo shopes across the country and retails for Tzs 49, 000 ($21 USD).
Designed for customers with affordability and accessibility in mind the Kitochi 4G Smart, features 4G connectivity and enables access to over two hundred essential and popular apps such as WhatsApp, the Google Assistant, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google Maps. Tigo is also offering free three month access to Facebook for customers to welcome more people into the social community.

This launch marks another successful addition to the powerful lineup of KaiOS-powered devices — continuing our mission to provide internet access to users across the globe. It is also a key step to connecting the users in the East African region as KaiOS-powered devices have been rolling out in Uganda, Rwanda, and now expands to Tanzania.
KaiOS is now the third largest mobile operating system worldwide, running on over 100 million devices shipped across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.
For more information about the Tigo Kitochi 4G Smart, please refer to the Tigo websitehere.