Today, we announced our successful launch and growing presence in the Indian market. Our KaiOS mobile operating system powers the JioPhone, a revolutionary lite phone offered by Reliance Retail Limited, which is now available for purchase. This launch makes KaiOS accessible to millions of new users in India, after successful launches in the U.S. and Canada through partnerships with Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
KaiOS combines the powerful capabilities of a smartphone with the affordability of a basic handset. Our operating system originates from the Firefox OS open-source project started in 2011, and has continued independently from Mozilla since 2016. KaiOS was first launched publicly in the US market in 2017.
The Kai Store is based on HTML5 making top-of-the-line features such as games, messaging, streaming apps, and social media available for everyone. The mobile operating system supports 4G/LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, and is compatible with chipsets from major manufacturers. Even with this suite of advanced features, KaiOS-powered phones use limited memory and energy, thus allowing it to power affordable devices with a longer battery life than most smartphones.
“Ownership of a powerful digital device can enrich one’s life and creates new opportunities for the user, their family, and the community,” said our Sebastien Codeville, commenting on the KaiOS debut in the Indian market. “We’re thrilled by the performance of KaiOS on the JioPhone. The launch opens up more opportunities for millions of Indians. We have added specific features to support the vision of Digital India, such as incorporating the adaption of Indian languages, enabling digital payments, and media delivery to the masses in India. We look forward to providing the Indian consumers a great mobile experience together with Reliance Retail Limited.”
Sunil Dutt, president of devices at Reliance Retail said, “KaiOS provides the right operating system for the JioPhone with its functionalities and adaptability. It has made the JioPhone a phone of choice with a wide range of features, while keeping it affordable and easy to operate. With KaiOS on the JioPhone, Reliance Retail has been able to bring the benefits of Digital Life to millions of Indians who were hitherto left out of the digital revolution.”
The mobile handset market in India has immense potential. According to a research report released by CMR Market Research, mobile handset vendors registered a 22 percent jump in revenues to Rs 1.36 lakh crore in 2016 from revenues of Rs 1.12 lakh crore in 2015. The report states that feature phones have about 57 percent of the market. With the launch of KaiOS-powered mobile phones in India, these devices are likely to emerge as a new category altogether.