KaiOS is an operating system based on Linux targeted at feature phones, developed by KaiOS Technologies, which is forked from the open source community-driven Firefox OS.
While Firefox OS was discontinued in 2016, the offshoot KaiOS aims to bring support for 4G LTE, VoLTE, and Wi-Fi with HTML5 apps and longer battery life to so-called feature phones, typically the non-touch devices with less memory and energy consumption.
Now, KaiOS Technologies is reportedly in collaboration with Mozilla to remedy KaiOS incompatibility with newer web standards such as WebGL, which has made some sites less and less functional on the ecosystem without specific customization, and increasingly vulnerable to update stagnation.
What the Collaboration between KaiOS and Mozilla brings to the table?
KaiOS was left out of the Quantum update, which made Gecko engine twice as fast, and the recently signed deal between KaiOS team with Mozilla, means there is going to be renewed support in the future for KaiOS updates. And the new version of KaiOS should be coming to devices as early as 2021.
This partnership may also represent a radical upgrade for KaiOS in regards to security, with Firefox extended security releases (ESRs) as part of kaiOS, not to mention the in-built browser support.
Mozilla's frequently-updated browser with enterprise-grade stability and security is what is promised with the ESRs. Therefore, it could bring a significant boost in the enormously important feature phone market.
Why the future looks bright for KaiOS?
KaiOS first made debut in 2017, and in a market share results announced in May 2018, KaiOS beat Apple's iOS for second place in India, with Android dominating at 71%, albeit it was down by 9%. KaiOS growth was largely attributed to popularity of the competitively-priced Jio Phone.
The operating system is also powering several new feature phones, among which are the Nokia 8110 4G, 2720 Flip, and 800 Tough. And KaiOS powered devices are considered smart feature phones since it supports many applications, like Google apps, though the OS is still not as powerful as Android.