Google sees bread in emerging markets, that’s for sure. To conquer this market, the search giant now invests $ 22 million in KaiOS, an operating system for feature phones. Google has previously targeted the same market with lightweight Android OS called the Android One.
The conquest of the feature phone, or the old-fashioned mobile phone, is still a step for Google. This is apparent from the announcement of an investment by Google in KaiOS. Google has invested $ 22 million in this operating system that focuses on the feature phone. The investment makes it possible to install apps and services such as Maps, YouTube, Google Search and Google Assistant on even more KaiOS phones. Google apps are already included on Nokia phones running on KaiOS.
The feature phone is a phone as most of us know from the past. This phone can be a bit more than a so-called dumb phone that can only call and text for you. The feature phone can be placed between a dumbphone and smartphone and is therefore a bit smart. For example, many of these phones have an internet connection so that you can read the news or check train times.
KaiOS also has a Kai Store that contains a selection of apps and will soon be expanded with a number of Google apps.
In 2014, Google launched Android One with which it wanted to serve emerging markets and wanted to connect bring more users to Android. Last year Google added Android Go as part of Android Oreo. Both variants primarily focus on emerging markets where no or only a slow internet connection is available and people can’t afford high-end phones.
Last year 1.6 billion smartphones were sold worldwide. The number of feature phones sold is expected to be between 450 and 500 million and this demand continues to grow. KaiOS serves the latter group and with the investment in this platform, Google can achieve an even larger share of the market.