KaiOS: "OS" for push-button phones

With the advent of KaiOS OSes, sales of push-button phones have gone up. What are the benefits of a new OS?

How in just 2 years to become the 3rd force in the market of mobile operating systems and attract investments worth more than 70 million dollars? Certainly Sebastian Codeville, who, as the head of KaiOS Technologies, is actively developing a product that promises a real revolution in the mobile market, the operating system KaiOS, can tell you about this. It is thanks to this "operating system" sales of push-button phones for the first time in many years went up.


What is KaiOS?

KaiOS is an operating system built on the basis of Firefox OS, so light that only 256 MB of RAM is enough to use it. KaiOS put on push-button phones, thereby expanding their functionality and making them semi-smart phones. A distinctive feature of the "OS" is also energy efficiency.

Of the companies that have already signed partnership agreements with KaiOS, one could make a real Hall of Fame. Among them - Facebook, Google, Twitter, Qualcomm, AT T, T-MOBILE.

C Google KaiOS binds more than a partnership. Since mid-2018, the “giant” from Silicon Valley has been the main investor of KaiOS, when it invested $ 22 million in the development of a new operating system. Later, the cheeky newcomer received another $ 50 million from the Cathay Innovation Foundation - again with the support of Google.

Experts are wondering what makes Google worry so much about the fate of the company, which, in fact, is its competitor. Many different guesses are being built, including conspirological ones. There is, for example, the opinion that Google, realizing the enormous potential of a competitor, sent him a "Trojan horse" - and the fact that KaiOS Technologies took the money, it will still go sideways. Although the most likely version seems to be that Google is simply seeking to popularize its many services, integrating them with the new "OS".

What does KaiOS offer?

You are unlikely to be able to visually distinguish a KaiOS-based phone from the usual “dialer”. The interface of the "kayfonov" exactly the same as that of the button "brothers". You can say classic - 9 icons are located in 3 × 3 format.

KaiOS phones, of course, are not touch-sensitive — they are controlled using the navigation key. But then what is the use of the vaunted KaiOS? Explain in order:

  • KaiOS has its own application store, which already has Facebook and Twitter, and the What's App will appear in the near future. True, even with this, the store catalog still remains rather poor.
  • KaiOS allows push-button phone owners to use such useful programs as YouTube and Google Maps. "OS" is integrated even with voice assistant Google Assistant - which is especially important when you consider the torment is typing on the physical keyboard.
  • The system has support for 4G and 3G networks, as well as Wi-Fi and GPS navigation. A phone that works on KaiOS can theoretically be used as a Wi-Fi router - to distribute mobile Internet. However, in practice, not every device with CIOS has this function.

Even the telephone component of the devices on KaiOS, judging by the user feedback, is better developed. Phonebook and other standard programs are more convenient and look modern.

Top 5 phones on KaiOS

In mid-2019, there are approximately 30 feature models that work for CIOS. True, only one model is officially available in Russia - the most popular. We will present it first.

Nokia 8110 4G

The legendary "banana", which at the turn of the millennium Neo bragged out of the famous trilogy "The Matrix", is back in business! HMD Global, which now has the Nokia brand, re-launched the model in 2018. True, this is no longer a simple “dialer” - thanks to KaiOS, the Nokia 8110 gained access to social networks, as well as support for LTE. At the time when the “Matrix” was filmed, even science fiction adepts could not think about the 4G connection speed.

However, the phone has one drawback that can scare away even those users who very much want to get acquainted with KaiOS - the price . The gadget costs 4 and a half thousand rubles - for the money you can easily buy an inexpensive, but full-fledged smartphone. It is not clear what demand and what market they hoped for at HMD Global, but for the time being the updated “bananas” are popular only among rare book collectors.

JioPhone 2

JioPhone at number 1 blew up the Indian market - the manufacturer sold 25,000,000 units of the smartphone. Therefore, the appearance of JioPhone 2 was quite expected - only the appearance of the device remained in question. The company Reliance Jio decided to please those users who are nostalgic for the old BlackBerry , and released the phone in a candybar with a QWERTY-keyboard. Until now, there is no other phone with KaiOS in this form factor.

From the point of view of functionality, JioPhone 2 is stronger than the "banana" Nokia. In addition to 3G and 4G, there is support for NFC - that is, with the help of this nice feature phone you can pay in stores. And the price of the device is reasonable - $ 44 (or 2,800 rubles). However, it was not without a trick: JioPhone 2 is not officially sold either in Russia or in European countries - only in India. Indians themselves are not very eager for international expansion - they also have an almost dimensionless domestic market.

Alcatel Go Flip

Alcatel Go Flip is a kind of astronaut monkey. This is the device from which the KaiOS story began, since Flip was the first of the features to get a new "OS".

Alcatel Go Flip was released in the clamshell form factor - such phones were wildly popular about 10 years ago, but now almost completely disappeared from shop windows. He has very good characteristics for a button device - “hardware”, in particular, could even launch Android Go , and the camera takes pictures with a resolution of 5 megapixels. Go Flip works in 4G networks and even has a modem mode - you can distribute Wi-Fi from it. Everything would be great if it were not for the price of $ 75 and the lack of an app store KaiOS. However, while the store itself is so poor that its “loss” can hardly be regarded as a serious shortcoming.


Energizer Energy E241

In 2019, 8 Energizer mobile phones immediately appeared on the market, running KaiOS. Some of them - those whose model name with the letter H - are positioned as protected. The Energizer Energy E241 has a different feature - it is a complete copy of the Nokia 3310. Could there be a better recommendation of the strength of a mobile device?

Until February 2019, the Energy E241 was the cheapest KaiOS operating system phone - its cost is only $ 30 (that is, approximately 1990 rubles). True, the “dialer”, alas, does not support 4G - only 3G.

Orange sanza

This “baby” just grabbed the leadership in the “cheapest phone with KaiOS” nomination from Energy E241. Orange Sanza presented at the MWC exhibition in Barcelona costs only $ 20, which is about 1300 rubles when converted into Russian currency.

Alas, the Russians see Sanza hardly "shine". The phone is released specifically for the “black continent” - it will be sold in countries such as Cameroon, Botswana, Guinea-Bissau and Madagascar. Orange Sanza does not support 4G, but its functionality is already wide enough for such a low price. The phone works on 3G networks, can connect to Wi-Fi, gives access to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, is equipped with the Google Assistant voice assistant, which understands numerous French accents. In addition, the device has a proprietary application Orange Money, designed for quick transfer of money with a minimum commission.

Prospects for the development of the operating system KaiOS

In May 2019, KaiOS Technology announced that there are already more than 100 million mobile devices with KaiOS in the world. To understand how much it is, imagine that in Russia 2 people from 3 would go with Kai-Fonami. Judging by the fact that the number of large market players who sign partnership agreements with KaiOS is multiplying exponentially, we are witnessing a renaissance of personal features.

The current “colossus” of Android and iOS will remain with it - the KaiOS “operating system” is not a competitor for them, otherwise Google would not have invested money in it. KaiOS will cover the demand in that segment of potential consumers, which high-brow geniuses of Silicon Valley have somehow forgotten about. This category includes people who can not afford the cheapest touchscreen smartphone - or simply do not need this kind of device. For many it has become a discovery that whole cities and even countries can be attributed to this segment.