KaiOS is a mobile Linux distribution for keypad feature phones based on the Firefox OS open-source project. It is developed by KaiOS Technologies (Hong Kong) Limited; a company based in Hong Kong, whose largest shareholder is Chinese electronics conglomerate TCL Corporation. KaiOS runs on feature phones made with low-power hardware and low power consumption (and therefore long battery life). KaiOS supports modern connectivity technologies like 4G LTE E, VoLTE, GPS, and Wi-Fi. KaiOS runs HTML5-based apps. KaiOS supports over-the-air updates and has a dedicated app marketplace called KaiStore. Some applications are preloaded, including Facebook and YouTube. As of 1 April 2020[update], there are 500+ apps in KaiStore. The mobile operating system is comparatively lightweight on hardware resource usage, and is able to run on devices with just 256 megabytes (MB) of memory.
|Developer||KaiOS Technologies (Hong Kong) Limited (with TCL as largest shareholder)|
|OS family||Linux (Unix-like)|
|Source model||Source-available (except for the binary blobs)|
|Initial release||October 2017|
|Latest release||January 2023|
|Marketing target||Feature phones|
|Available in||88 languages|
List of languages
Afrikaans, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Assamese, Azerbaijani, Basque, Belarusian, Bengali (Bangladesh), Bengali (India), Bodo, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dogri, Dutch, English (United Kingdom), English (United States), Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French (Canada), French (France), Galician, Georgian, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Kannada, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Khmer, Konkani, Lao, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Maithili, Malay, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Norwegian, Oriya, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Punjabi, Romanian (Moldavia), Romanian (Romania), Russian, Sanskrit, Santali, Serbian (Latin and Cyrillic alphabet), Simplified Chinese, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish (Latin America), Spanish (Spain), Swahili, Swedish, Tajik, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Traditional Chinese (Hong Kong), Traditional Chinese (Taiwan), Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese, Xhosa, Zulu
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux)|
|License||Proprietary, Linux kernel patches under GPLv2,|
B2G under MPL
|Preceded by||Firefox OS, Microsoft Lumia, Nokia Asha|
The operating system was first released in 2017, and is developed by KaiOS Technologies Inc., a Hong Kong-based company headed by CEO Sebastien Codeville, with offices in other countries. In June 2018, Google invested US$22 million in the operating system. That same year, India-based telecom operator Reliance Jio also invested $7 million through its sister concern, Reliance Retail for a 16% stake in the company. In May 2019, KaiOS raised an additional US$50 million from Cathay Innovation, and previous investors Google and TCL Holdings.
In market share study results announced in May 2018, KaiOS beat Apple's iOS for second place in India, while Android dominates with 71%, albeit down by 9%. KaiOS growth is being largely attributed to the popularity of the competitively-priced JioPhone. In Q1 2018, 23 million KaiOS devices were produced.
Devices that are installed with KaiOS include (KaiStore may not be included, if device vendor removed it):
- Alcatel Go Flip (known as Cingular Flip 2 on AT&T, Alcatel MyFlip on TracFone Wireless) and 3088X
- Advan Hape Online (Indonesia) in partnership with Indosat Ooredoo.
- Reliance Jio's JioPhone, F10Q, F101K, F120B, F220B, F211S, F221S, F250Y, F271I, F30C, F41T, F50Y, F61F, F81E, F90M, LF-2401, LF-2402, LF-2403, LF-2403N, all branded as LYF, JioPhone 2, F300B, F310B, JioPhone Lite, F320B
- HMD Global's Nokia 8110 4G, 2720 Flip, 800 Tough, 6300 4G, 8000 4G, Nokia 2760 Flip and 2780 Flip
- Energizer Energy E220, E220S, E241, E241S and Hardcase H241, H242, H280S, E282SC
- Doro 7010, 7050, 7060
- Cat B35
- Gigaset GL7
- Maxcom MK241, MK281
- WizPhone WP006, launched in Indonesia in partnership with Google and Alfamart.
- MTN 3G phone (MTN Smart S 3G)
- Positivo P70S (Brazil)
- Multilaser ZAPP (Brazil)
- Tecno T901
- IKU V400 4G
- I-Plus I4g
- Lava Captain 11 3G
- Jazz Digit 4G (Pakistan)
- Orange Sanza 2, Sanza XL
- Kitochi 4G Smart
- Vodacom Smart Kitochi (Vida), Vodacom Smart Kitochi (Azumi)
- QMobile 4G Plus (Pakistan)
- GeoPhone T15, T19, T19i (Made in India for Bangladesh)
- Sigma mobile X-Style S3500 sKai (Ukraine)
- Ghia KOX1, GK3G, GQWERTY (Mexico)
- myPhone Up Smart, Up Smart LTE (Poland)
- Symphony PD1 4G (Bangladesh)
As of February 2018[update], KaiOS Technologies has partnered with Mozilla, Airfind, Avenir Telecom (Energizer), Facebook, Google, Bullitt, Doro, HMD Global, Micromax, NXP, Spreadtrum, Qualcomm, Jio, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Orange S.A.
Release history edit
|version||announced||new features||mobile phones|
|1.0||March 2017||First KaiOS smart feature flip phone with Gecko 37||Alcatel OneTouch Go Flip (OT-4044)|
|2.0||July 2017||Major core upgrade to Gecko 48|
|2.5.0||November 2017||Services and 3rd party apps||Nokia 8110 4G|
|2.5.1||July 2018||KaiStore, KaiAccount, and advanced features, WhatsApp|
|18.104.22.168||September 2018||Minor system updates|
|2.5.2||December 2018||KaiAds and SIMbased cust.||Nokia 2720 Flip, Nokia 800 Tough|
|2.5.3||July 2019||Major service upgrades, location service enhancement|
|22.214.171.124||February 2020||Minor system updates, notification enhancement|
|126.96.36.199||May 2020||Device Financing Program, Dual SIM LTE support||Gigaset GL7|
|2.5.4||August 2020||LF 1.6 integration, North America requirement||Nokia 6300 4G, Nokia 8000 4G|
|3.0||September 2021||Major platform Upgrade, Gecko upgrade from version 48 (2016) to version 84 (December 2020). Older apps require that their developers adapt the apps to this OS version and publish an update to the store. WhatsApp not available anymore for KaiOS v3.||Nokia 2760 Flip|
|3.1||March 2022||Minor system updates||Nokia 2780 Flip|
With the release of the Nokia 8110 4G, an active community around both KaiOS and the phone arose and released the first version of a jailbreak. This gave users the ability to use apps outside KaiStore including old Firefox OS apps on KaiOS devices, as well as flashing their devices with community-created ROMs, such as GerdaOS.
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Nokia 8110 4G, running KaiOS, received […] firmware version 17.00.17.01, with KaiOS 2.5.1.
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