Some of you might be familiar with KaiOS. It’s the operating system for feature phones that emerged from the remains of Mozilla’s Firefox OS project. KaiOS is limited to feature phones only and HMD’s Nokia-branded handsets like the Nokia 8110 are powered by this operating system. Micromax and TCL have also made KaiOS-powered devices. KaiOS has now received a vote of confidence from Google in the form of a $22 million investment.


KaiOS has emerged as a popular choice for feature phones, the only category of cellphones that Google hasn’t released Android for. It began as a forked version of Firefox OS and has since been adopted by a handful of OEMs who are still making feature phones.

Google is trying to expand its footing in the cheap handset market with Android Go so its investment in KaiOS might feel odd to some but the company likely has strategic reasons behind it.

KaiOS CEO Sebastien Codeville announced today that “Google and KaiOS have also agreed to work together to make the Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Search available to KaiOS users.” Developers who make apps for the operating system use HTML5, Javascript, and CSS. Google can thus easily bring its services to these devices and ensure that even feature phones are running its services.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about Google.

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