WhatsApp Now Available On KaiOS-powered Smart Feature Phones in Africa
26 July 2019
Devices now available in 22 African Countries; further availability across the continent throughout 2019
KaiOS Technologies maker of KaiOS, the leading mobile operating system for smart feature phones, and Facebook, the social media platform whose goal is to bring the world closer together, today announced WhatsApp’s availability for download in the KaiStore, on both 512MB and 256MB RAM devices. Further, by Q3 2019, most smart feature phones powered by KaiOS will have WhatsApp preinstalled upon shipment.
“KaiOS has been a critical partner in helping us bring private messaging to smart feature phones around the world. Providing WhatsApp on KaiOS helps bridge the digital gap to connect friends and family in a simple, reliable and secure way,” said Matt Idema, COO of WhatsApp
WhatsApp is a messaging tool used by more than 1.5 billion people worldwide who need a simple, reliable and secure way to communicate with friends and family. Users can enjoy calling and messaging capabilities and more, all with end-to-end encryption that keeps correspondence private and secure. WhatsApp was first launched on the KaiOS-powered JioPhone in India in September of 2018, and now with today’s broad release, the app will reach millions of new users across Africa, Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, Latin America and beyond.
“We’re thrilled to bring WhatsApp to the KaiOS platform and extend such an important means of communication to a brand new demographic,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “We strive to make the internet and digital services accessible for everyone and offering WhatsApp on affordable smart feature phones is a giant leap towards this goal. We can’t wait to see the next billion users connect in meaningful ways with their loved ones, communities, and others across the globe.”
KaiOS-powered smart feature phones are a new category of mobile devices that combine the affordability of a feature phone with the essential features of a smartphone. They meet a growing demand for affordable devices from people living across Africa - and other emerging markets - who are not currently online. WhatsApp is now available for download from KaiStore, an app store specifically designed for KaiOS-powered devices and home to the world’s most popular apps including the Google Assistant, YouTube, Facebook, Google Maps and Twitter. Apps in the KaiStore are customized to minimize data usage and maximize user experience for smart feature phone users.
In Africa, the KaiOS-powered MTN Smart and Orange Sanza are currently available in 22 countries, offering 256MB RAM and 3G connectivity.
KaiOS currently powers more than 100 million devices shipped worldwide, in over 100 countries. The platform enables a new category of devices that require limited memory, while still offering a rich user experience. Together with its partners, Kai aims to close the digital divide by bringing mobile connectivity to the billions of people without internet in emerging markets, as well as providing those in established markets with an alternative to smartphones.
Source: Press Release