We all know Android and we know that this operating system from Google is the unchallenged market leader in the world, with only one competitor that it follows from far away: Apple’s iOS. But there are not only these two OS for smartphones: the list of operating systems for mobile phones is long, even if almost nobody knows them and everyone assumes that you can only choose between the two most famous. A new mobile OS , however, seems to be on the launching pad towards consecration: it is KaiOS, it derives from the deceased FireFoxOS and it is developed today by KaiOS Technologies led by Sebastien Codeville, an engineer with a background in Alcatel, Philips and TCL. Why is KaiOS about to take off? Because it is an operating system for cheap and less powerful mobile phones.
KaiOS: technical characteristics
Technically KaiOS is based on Linux and derives from Boot to Gecko, which in turn is a derivative of the latest version of FireFox OS. According to KaiOS Technologies, this new mobile operating system ” combines the power of a smartphone with the convenience of a feature phone “, that is, a cheap device for a few tens of dollars. KaiOS supports apps based on HTML 5 and normal features for a smartphone like 4G LTE, GPS and Wi-Fi. In its current version it can work with only 256 MB of RAM, thanks to its lightness. Lately, native HTML 5 versions have been developed for this operating system of famous apps like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, WhatsAppand there is also an official store, called KaiStore, where users can find all the apps developed for this operating system. There are not many, but the number is growing. Obviously, then, there is no lack of the monetization mechanism of all this for KaiOS Technologies: it’s called KaiADS and it’s the advertising platform for apps that run on KaiOS.
KaiOS: because there will be a boom
Last year, Google has invested $ 22 million in mobile operating system KAIOSand announced a native version of Google Assistant. This tells us that KaiOS is not just any OS, but it can actually make big market shares. But it will not be the same market as Google Android and Apple iOS : it will be the feature phone market, those devices with low performance and very limited functionality (for example: no touch screen, no camera or a low-resolution lens). In the world, even today, over 3 billion people do not have access to the Internet (ie 54% of the world population). Only 19% of the population does not access the Internet due to infrastructure shortages, while the remaining 35% cannot afford a connection. Or a smartphone, given that in 2018 the average cost of a phone was 120 dollars, a figure that can only spend 10% of the population of emerging markets. The cost problem, therefore, is more than real and lowering the price of devices and services is essential to bring this huge slice of the world’s population into the digital age.
KaiOS: the OS for Smart Feature Phones
According to a recent research by Counterpoint Research in the next three years a global market of 28 billion dollars could be born : it is the ” Smart Feature Phone ” market. Phones, that is, that are a cross between smartphones and feature phones . In practice, feature phones with Internet access and a few other features necessary to use the basic services of the Web. KaiOS is the ideal candidate for the role of operating system of these Smart Feature Phones , thanks to its lightness (in terms of hardware resources required) ) combined with the fact that it is an operating system that is born with the Web in mind.
The first Smart Feature Phones are a success
From words to deeds: KaiOS has collaborated in the USA with Alcatel to launch Go Flip, a Smart Feature Phone with a 2.8-inch display (320×240 pixels), 5 MP camera, 1.1 GHz dual-core processor, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of internal memory. The battery, just 1,350 mAh, offers a 6-hour autonomy in conversation and 11 days in standby. Shortly thereafter, together with the Indian Reliance Industries, KaiOS launched JioPhone: 2.4 inches, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of internal memory. KaiOS Technologies has also worked to bring KaiOS to the Nokia 8110 4G, an updated version of the legendary mobile phone launched in 1996 and even seen in the movie Matrix. Today there are over 80 million devices with KaiOS operating system in the world, how many will be in 2020?