wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

JioPhones now have WhatsApp

JioPhone and JioPhone 2 will now have WhatsApp starting 20 September. WhatsApp has developed a native app for JioPhone, which runs KaiOS, a feature phone OS. Reliance had said in July that a software update would enable native apps for WhatsApp, YouTube and Facebook on its phones. A native Facebook app was rolled out on the JioPhone in February.

The WhatsApp app will have the ability to exchange photos and videos, text and voice messages. The company has said that all data exchanged on WhatsApp will be end-to-end encrypted, the same as it is for smartphone users of WhatsApp. WhatsApp claims to have 200 million monthly active users in India; while Jio claims to have sold 25 million JioPhone handsets.

In its AGM in July, Reliance also announced the JioPhone 2 at an introductory price of Rs 2999.

JioPhone in India

The JioPhone was launched a little over a year ago in July 2017. The 4G device is powered by KaiOS, which builds smartphone-like features into feature phones. JioPhone is available for a refundable deposit of Rs 1500, which is a significant amount for a newly-connected cost-sensitive Indian customer.

Within 6 months of its launch, JioPhone became the top feature phone brand in India by shipments for 2017, overthrowing market leader in the segment Samsung, according to a study CounterPoint Research.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The feature phone market in India is performing better than the smartphone market; shipments (sold to retailers) of feature phones in India doubled YoY in Q1 2018, while the smartphone market remained flat in the same period, per the Counterpoint Research study. That report also attributed the surge in popularity to the JioPhone range.

KaiOS history

In March this year, Reliance Retail bought a 16% stake in KaiOS Technologies, a US-based company which provides operating system for JioPhone, for around $7 million. Reliance Retail paid around $3.6 for each of 19,04,781 common shares. KaiOS’ flagship product ‘KaiOS’ originates from the Firefox open-source project, and enable mobile and IoT devices. Apart from Jio in India, KaiOS powers phones in Canada and USA through partnerships with Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile. The company’s website claims to have 30 million people as users of KaiOS devices.

In June this year, KaiOS raised $22 million from Google to integrate Google services like search, maps, YouTube and its voice assistant into more KaiOS devices.

Written By

I cover health, policy issues such as intermediary liability, data governance, internet shutdowns, and more. Hit me up for tips.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.


When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.


In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...


By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

You May Also Like


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ