A Short History of KaiOS

KaiOS seemingly came out of nowhere. A few months ago, we didn’t even have a website. Now our operating system is running on over 30 million phones in India and North America. By the end of 2018, we plan to offer KaiOS in more than 100 countries across the globe.

This didn’t happen overnight. Here’s the real story about our name, history with Firefox, and purpose.

KaiOS is not Firefox OS. Our platform is based on the original Mozilla project. We even have people from the original Mozilla team in our engineering and UX departments. But KaiOS has been developed into something much more robust and expanded than the original Firefox OS. Think of us as distant cousins, not siblings nor children.

That brings us to the name. When the current stakeholders took over the project from Mozilla, we wanted something that would reflect our ambition to be accessible and open to all members of society. We also wanted a name that would work in both Western and Asian languages.

While it could be mistaken for a person’s name, “Kai” originates from the Chinese word for open: 开 (kāi). The meaning fits and the sound is pronounceable in almost every tongue.  Which brings us to the most important part: why does Kai exist?

We believe the world doesn’t need another expensive smartphone. There are still vast groups of people locked out of the digital revolution. In emerging markets, over three billion (!) people don’t have basic internet access. In mature markets, close to 20 percent of mobile users still use basic phones because they can’t or don’t want to use a smartphone. For all these people, not being connected means missed opportunities in education, health, communication, entertainment, and business.

Kai exists to unlock these opportunities. Together with our partners, we’re focused on creating products that make that happen. In 2017, we launched phones with Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T in North America, and with Jio in India. This is just the beginning. Many other countries and partners will join us on this mission in the months ahead.

We believe genius, happiness, and wealth are waiting to blossom in new places. All that’s needed is access to the digital revolution, just like it has sparked these things in other parts of the world. We believe KaiOS can play a small part in making this happen, which is why our team of close to 200 people comes to work every day in our offices around the world.

Kai, the emerging OS.


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There are 15 Comments

  1. Lary Andrews

    I am impressed and agree with your philosophy. Those with too much don’t need more, but those without enough need . . . enough. Thankx. I want a banana phone!

  2. Abbas

    Ohhh, now I know what ‘Kai’ means. I always thought it sounded Chinese but could not see the connection with it being a US-base company. Your FAQ should be linked to this article because it best explains your history background and especially name!

  3. Kai Helps

    Hey Prediksi, we appreciate your feedback, it truly means a lot to us. Stay tuned for more helpful information!

  4. Hi, just wanted to tell you, I loved this blog post. It was helpful.
    Keep on posting!

  5. I like this blog very much, Its a very nice spot to read and incur information. “There’s nothing I’m afraid of like scared people.” by Robert Frost.

  6. Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the amazing effort.

  7. Kai Helps

    Hi Regena. If you would like to be aware of the specific information about release dates and the latest news, feel free to follow our Twitter account @KaiOStech. Additionally, you can always contact our customer support by messaging our other account @KaiHelps.

  8. leandro

    salut j ai un nokia8110 et je suis décu par les app sinon j aime bien

    • Kai Helps

      Bonjour! Merci de votre commentaire. Le KaiStore vient de paraître sur le 8110 4G, comme vous le savez peut-être déjà. Nous sommes conscients qu’il n’y a pas beaucoup d’applications pour le moment, mais vous aurez bientôt accès à diverses applications, notamment les médias sociaux, la messagerie, la navigation et les jeux.

  9. Thanks for some other great post. Where else may just anybody get that kind of info in such an ideal method of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I’m at the look for such


    what is ful form of KaiOS? KAI=?

  11. What’s up friends, its fantastic paragraph about tutoringand entirely explained, keep it up
    all thhe time.

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