Apple’s continuous struggle to hold on to its share in the Indian smartphone market has led to yet another setback for the company. A new report suggests that the rise of feature phones in India has allowed KaiOS, a Linux-based operating system on Reliance Jio’s JioPhone, to replace Apple’s iOS as the second most used mobile operating system in India.
As per the study, KaiOS accounts for 15% of the total pie, while iOS has plunged below the 10% mark at 9.6%. Android still holds an unparalleled lead by powering nearly 71.6% of the total number of mobile devices in the country. However, it is worth noting that the Google-owned operating system lost 11.4% of the share in the past year. On the other hand, iOS’ share fell by 1.4% in India over the last year.
KaiOS has recently become the talk of the town as companies turn to emerging countries in the search for the next big chunk of users. Reliance Jio’s feature phone, JioPhone which has managed to garner over a quarter of the entire feature phone market share, has primarily propelled that shift with its dirt cheap prices and subscription model.
HMD Global’s Nokia as well, back at the Mobile World Congress, introduced the 8110 which also runs on KaiOS. Google hopped on the bandwagon not long ago and made a slew of its services like Google Assistant, Google Search, Google Maps available for such phones. In addition to that, messaging leader WhatsApp is expected to bring its app on KaiOS as well in the coming months.
In a report, CounterPoint also forecasted that feature phones will continue to soar in the next few years and added “We expect the 4G feature phone segment will be a 200 million unit opportunity by volume, over the next five years as the hundreds of millions of current feature phone users in India are likely to upgrade to VoLTE handsets.“