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KaiOS sets stage for feature phone vs smartphone clash

At a point of time when even some of the top business executives are criticizing the ill-effects of increased penetration of technology into daily lives; when many people are desperately trying to disconnect, rather than connect, the significance of the new KaiOS is enormous.

As you may have guessed from the name, it is an operating system that aims at competing with mammoths including Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows (oh wait, forget the last one). But KaiOS is not for the smartphones, it is rather made for the regular feature phones with 4G connectivity.

Image courtesy: KaiOS Technologies

The OS made by San Diego, California-based KaiOS Technologies is based on Linux platform. The company has now partnered with Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and Reliance Jio to power phones in the US, Canada, and India with their operating system.

Lunched last week at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, KaiOS comes with accessibility to apps from Facebook, Twitter and Google.  The company claims that it has so far powered nearly 30 million devices worldwide.

By making strategic deals with Nokia, Bullitt, Doro and Micromax, KaiOS is hoping to make inroads into the emerging and developed markets. According to Gartner’s report, Android market share rose 1.1 percentage points to 85.9% in 2017 from last year, while iOS market share fell by 0.4 points to 14%. Other OS share tumbled by 0.7 points to 0.1%.

Meanwhile, global smartphone sales to end users dropped 5.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017, as people preferred feature phones over low quality budget smartphones. International Data Corporation expects feature phone sales of 500 million units each for the next five years.

 

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