One of the things I regret as a smartphone lover is the lack of options. The undeniable duopoly that exists with Android and Apple still bothers me.
It is the reason I have always been interested in companies that strive to compete with these two industry giants. Projects like BlackBerry 10, WebOS, Windows Phone, and even MeeGo make me wonder if a new platform can succeed if two market leaders dominate as much.
Any candidate who makes an effort to demolish this fort never sees a significant adoption. But what if these companies approach success the wrong way.
What if instead of pressure to compete at the top, they started from the bottom? What if the platform to create this third option was KaiOS?
The Biggest Platform You Have Never Heard Of
You’ve probably never heard of KaiOS. But the platform has more than 100 million users worldwide, and that number is only increasing.
So what is KaiOS? In short, it is a mobile operating system that provides inexpensive devices to emerging markets like India, Nigeria, and Indonesia.
KaiOS has been described as a “smartphone” operating system designed to reach the next billion people who have not yet entered the Internet.
The way it happens is simple: KaiOS runs essential internet services on your devices such as Google Search, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Facebook.
The devices themselves are relatively simple, almost always cost less than $ 100, and have low-resolution screens and plastic bodies.
The point here is that owing to the low costs, users in less affluent markets can stay connected with friends and family without paying a premium to buy a new Samsung Galaxy phone.
The interior of KaiOS is also fascinating because the operating system is based on the Mozilla Firefox operating system, which has never had enough traction in the smartphone world. But in spacing phones with features, this system has succeeded.
All “applications” designed for KaiOS are web-based, making them easy to update and capable of running on the minimal hardware that comes with KaiOS devices.
For many individuals in the Third World, the first phone they will touch will be the KaiOS device, and that is how the platform is rapidly gaining users in a segment that has grown steadily in recent years.
This development prompted HMD Global, the company that revived the Nokia brand, to start publishing modern versions of classic phones like the Nokia 8110 with KaiOS.
There is legitimacy on this platform because companies like Google and Disney have invested in the platform, which has led to the integration of Google Assistant in KaiOS devices.
KaiOS will continue to grow, and now in broader markets like the United States, they have spotted this operating system that many do not know about.
Call To The Developed Market
There has been a quiet revolution with our phones in recent years. We are looking for a little separation from technology.
We are watching our screens more, and more and companies are removing the need to prioritize our digital well-being and not be as dependent on our smartphones.
Apple and Google have implemented it in their operating systems, such as Screen Time and Digital Well-being. What is also created in this reader by separation is the existence of an additional telephone.
The idea behind a companion phone is to have a less connected device that still contains the user’s phone number for the most basic communication.
TCL recently launched a device called the Palm phone with a minimal form factor and is invented to be used as a break from the user’s primary phone. The idea was generally well-received, and this created an opening for KaiOS.
The basis for this opening is that if a phone is necessary for life, without interfering with an expensive smartphone that sends hundreds of notifications, the KaiOS device is affordable and connected enough to get the job done.
A phone like the Nokia 8110, which sells for around $ 70, which can surf the web and post-basic posts on social media, can be attractive to someone who wants to minimize their digital experience.
This limited exposure could create an opening for KaiOS in the future in more developed markets. You have to query the question. So many individual are in love with the minimalist approach to the operating system on a functional phone.
What is preventing KaiOS from becoming the third player in the smartphone space? It may be time for a company that has built a reputation away from smartphones to try them in developing countries and fully developed markets like the United States.
A Play For The Future
Keep in mind that the web as a platform is growing exponentially compared to everyday users. More and more services depend on their native applications, web clients.
We see it with the popularity of Chrome OS, the development of Windows 10X by Microsoft, and the advent of progressive web applications on phones.
There is an idea on the web that replaces native apps in many conditions, and KaiOS may be the platform that can provide it.
There is a growing embarrassment in the tech community regarding Google. The search giant is everywhere and has services for everyone. I love Google services, but an increasing number of people have become quite critical of the business, with too much data.
This is undoubtedly a well-founded claim, as Google cares more about ad revenue and how it will increase through data collection.
KaiOS, a smartphone operating system, offers a person the opportunity to move away from the Google bubble and enter the more open web model that Firefox desktop users love in this product. In this operating system resides the attraction of minimalism.
One that works on the web and is light enough to work well on low-end hardware.
It is a simple fact that cheap Android smartphones do not offer the best experience in the world as they try to do everything that the most expensive Android phone works to do with much less hardware capacity.
The KaiOS smartphone would not have this problem because, from day one, the platform was designed to maximize limited hardware. From a computer point of view, I would consider an economical phone as a $ 300 laptop.
Windows can run at this price point, but not well, while Chrome OS is designed to run on $ 300 hardware. KaiOS can be a system in many ways. Chrome operating system from the world of mobile phones.
As someone who aspires to another option, I must admit that I am extremely tempted by the possibility that KaiOS as a third player, finally challenges Apple and Google. Ignore Palm, BlackBerry, and Microsoft errors.
If that day arrives, smartphone users can hope to have more options. If KaiOS decides to remain the dominant force on cell phones, that’s fine, and the business will succeed.
Because of the competition, I hope they go one step further and show Apple and Google what is possible when building from below.
Frequently Asked Questions
KaiOS is not compatible with Android applications. These applications must adapt to HTML5 applications that can run on the KaiOS platform.
KaiOS, the phone operating system used on phones with features like last year’s Nokia 8110 remake, has finally released an official version of WhatsApp. The KaiOS version supports messaging and voice recording and includes the latest encryption, just like Android and iOS.
KaiOS runs programs based on HTML5, and the applications run in a sandy environment, that is. They only access the phone’s resources/data if the user or the operating system allows it. But if the equipment is compromised or the device is stolen, putting a strong key is the only way to be completely secure.
First designed as an open alternative to growing Android and iOS operating systems, then focusing on connected devices. KaiOS is built on HTML5 and other open web technologies and supports Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G / 4G LTE, and NFC.