Google invests $22 million within the OS powering Nokia function telephones

Google is investing $22 million into KaiOS, the function telephone working system that has risen from the ashes of Mozilla’s Firefox OS. Whereas Google guidelines the smartphone world with Android, KaiOS is slowly rising as a preferred selection for function telephones, significantly in rising markets. KaiOS began final 12 months as a forked model of Firefox OS, and the working system ships on some Nokia-branded function telephones just like the Nokia 8110. Units from TCL and Micromax are additionally powered by KaiOS.

Google’s funding may appear odd given its Android dominance, and its efforts with Android Go, but it surely’s clearly strategic. “Google and KaiOS have additionally agreed to work collectively to make the Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, and Google Search accessible to KaiOS customers,” says KaiOS CEO Sebastien Codeville. KaiOS itself is web-based, designed for builders to make use of HTML5, Javascript, and CSS for apps. That makes it straightforward for Google to get these apps working on KaiOS, and strategically guarantee function telephones are utilizing Google’s companies and never opponents.

Greater than 40 million KaiOS telephones have shipped to date, based on TechCrunch. That’s a formidable quantity for the function telephone market which remains to be holding on robust regardless of smartphones taking on nearly all of telephone gross sales.

Nokia 8110 working KaiOS
Photograph by Tom Warren / The Verge

Google has been pushing to slim down Android to take up much less house, cut back preinstalled app house, and to get Android onto units with 1GB of RAM. That’s good for low-cost smartphone , however Android nonetheless takes up round 3GB of space for storing and KaiOS units just like the Nokia 8110 banana telephone ship with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of storage.

Android might finally supplant the necessity for KaiOS, however provided that Google can hold pushing to make it extra environment friendly or if the overall invoice of supplies for hits a low sufficient degree the place function telephones are not required. Both method, Google is masking itself for the longer term with a intelligent KaiOS funding.

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