WhatsApp is the world’s most popular chat platform now used by over 1.5 billion people world-wide. And WhatsApp’s latest update is set to cement this status by making the Facebook-owned app available on more even more devices. KaiOS is the operating system for many makes of phones, including the popular Nokia 8110 4G “banana phone”.
Users used to be unable to access WhatsApp from these phones but they now can, thanks to a collaboration between KaiOS and WhatsApp.
KaiOS has announced the availability of WhatsApp on its app store for several phones running KaiOS in the same “smart feature phone” category as the Nokia 8110.
WhatsApp is available for devices with 512MB and 256MB RAM.
The popular chat app reportedly came to the Nokia 8110 in India a few months ago, but now Nokia 8110 owners anywhere can install the app.
KaiOS says the first phone to get WhatsApp was the JioPhone in India in September 2018.
According to the company, WhatsApp is now available for the Nokia 8110 globally, the Cat B35 and Doro 7060 in Europe, the JioPhone and JioPhone 2 in India, the MTN Smart and Orange Sanza in Africa, and the Multilaser ZAPP and Positive P70s in Brazil.
Matt Idema, COO of WhatsApp said in a statement: ”Providing WhatsApp on KaiOS helps bridge the digital gap to connect friends and family in a simple, reliable and secure way.”
KaiOS claims it has shipped 100 million devices to around 100 countries.
Those numbers suggest it could succeed where others like Mozilla failed to make Firefox OS the third mobile operating system.
KaiOS has raised about $72 million in backing so far, including $22 million from Google and TCL Holdings in 2018.
The latest funding, announced in June, was from Cathay Innovation and French telco Orange as part of its approach to boosting internet usage among Africa’s mobile consumers.
While it is unlikely to come close to the dominance of iOS and Android, 100 million extra devices makes KaiOS the third largest mobile operating system.
And it makes KaiOS’ goal of “connecting the next billion users” increasingly plausible.
Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies, said: “We’re thrilled to bring WhatsApp to the KaiOS platform and extend such an important means of communication to a brand new demographic.
“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.”