MWC 2018: Kai announces partnerships with mobile industry giants
Kai is at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in what is truly the culmination of years of strategic planning and preparation. In a major step toward recognizing its vision of bridging the digital divide with affordable feature phones powered by KaiOS, the company announced several new partnerships with the biggest names in mobile, social media, and telecommunications technology.
These partnerships come on the heels of a recent spike in demand for feature phones. According to IDC, the global market for feature phones will be 500 million annually for the next five years.
KaiOS – one of only a handful of mobile operating systems capable of supporting popular third-party apps, and the only OS to natively support these apps on feature phones – is on a mission to meet that demand with its partners.
Social media and entertainment platforms
The partnership with Airfind brings its tailored apps for news, weather, and horoscopes to KaiOS-powered devices, with more options to be added in the future. This collaboration allows Kai to offer innovative monetization opportunities to ODMs, OEMs, and carriers, and reach groups that previously were unable to access such services.
The highly-coveted social media app has made its way to KaiOS-powered feature phones. This partnership supports access to Facebook via a native KaiOS app, allowing more users to connect with their friends and families in meaningful ways – it even opens the doors to new opportunities in education, business and community building. Another step toward closing the digital divide!
Google’s most in-demand services, including Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Search, will soon be available via the KaiOS platform on a new Nokia feature phone. Now, millions of people relying on Nokia’s latest feature phone to connect to the internet will have unlimited access to information, entertainment, and educational resources through Google’s services.
The Twitter community just got bigger! Twitter and Kai announced a partnership to bring the leading social media app to affordable KaiOS-powered feature phones. A new category of users will now have the ability to communicate and engage with their families, favorite brands, and other users online.
Leading device manufacturers
Feature phones are in for a makeover. Bullitt Group, a leading British consumer electronics company, is partnering with Kai to develop rugged feature phones powered by KaiOS. The devices will provide smartphone-like capabilities in durable packages for workers across a range of industries including construction, farming, and security.
Kai and Doro are coming together to release a new feature phone developed with seniors in mind. In addition to its robust form factor, the model will give users access to the Kai Store, which includes the world’s most popular apps for social media, instant messaging, navigation, games, and voice assistants.
HMD, the company that designs and markets Nokia phones and tablets, has partnered with Kai to launch a new Nokia phone powered by KaiOS. The flagship feature phone comes equipped with Google’s most in-demand apps, including Maps, Google Search, and Voice Assistant. The phone will be available in markets around the world in Q2 of this year.
Micromax Informatics, India’s leading mobile brand, and Kai are creating a seamless mobile experience for people in Sri Lanka and the United Arab Emirates. The partnership will target millions of Micromax feature phone users and offer a unique native experience with more efficient access to third party apps, all via KaiOS. The new feature phone is set to accelerate the next phase of mobile phone adoption by offering a seamless mobile experience to users.
Key component creators
Kai has partnered with NXP Semiconductors, a leading semiconductor supplier, to adopt its embedded Secure Element (eSE) and near field communication (NFC)-based mobile solutions in the JioPhone. The KaiOS-powered lite phone from Reliance Jio has topped the Indian feature phone market since its rollout in September of last year.
This partnership will see KaiOS supported on high-performance LTE chipsets manufactured by Spreadtrum, a world leading fabless semiconductor company with advanced technology in mobile communications and IoT. Later this quarter, KaiOS 2.5 will also be supported on Spreadtrum’s highly-competitive SC9820E chipset, as well as their 3G device solution SC7731E. This partnership means users will have access to a broader selection of lite phones that support advanced mobile functionality.
Qualcomm and Kai are expanding 3G and 4G feature phone offerings. As part of the partnership, the KaiOS 2.5 mobile operating system will now run on Qualcomm’s 256MB/512MB RAM newest processor. The two companies began collaboration last year, creating an affordable smartphone-like experience for tens of millions of users.