Reliance announced its Jio Phone 2 yesterday at the 41st annual general meeting (AGM) of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), and revealed that nearly 25 million users in India were using the original JioPhone which was launched in 2017. The company also confirmed that popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube would be coming to the original JioPhone and the new JioPhone 2. Now, HMD Global, which also competes in the feature phone segment has confirmed that WhatsApp, YouTube and Facebook will be part of their Nokia 8110 4G phone as well.
Nokia 8110 4G phone was announced by the company at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in February along with other new devices like the Nokia 6.1, Nokia 7 Plus, Nokia 1 and Nokia 8 Sirocco. Nokia 8110 is a slide-up phone with a keypad as well, though the feature phone is yet to launch in India. HMD Global’s Chief Product Officer Juho Sarvikas revealed in a tweet that the phone will get WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube.
Sarvikas was replying to a tweet by KaiOS technologies, which actually powers the operating system on JioPhone, JioPhone 2 as well as Nokia 8110. KaisOS had tweeted saying, “The next #JioPhone chapter arrives as our partner @RelianceJio announces @youtube, @facebook, and @whatsapp, as well as the #JioPhone2 with QWERTY keyboard, powered by @kaiostech.” To this, Sarvikas replied, ‘Looking forward to going bananas (depicted as emoji).”
Nokia 8110 is also known as the banana phone just like the original phone, considering the bright yellow body and curved shape. HMD Global’s feature phone is powered by the same KaiOS, and it would be fair to expect that most of these apps will also make their way to other budget feature phones on the operating system.
It should be noted that KaiOS had recently announced a partnership and $22 million investment from Google, wherein it would work to bring apps from the search giant to its smart feature phones. KaiOS had announced that apps like Google Search, Google Assistant, Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail would be coming to the platform.
Check out Sarvikas’ tweet below
— Juho Sarvikas (@sarvikas) July 5, 2018
Nokia 8110 has a 2.45-inch QVGA colour display, a 1.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 dual-core processor coupled with 512MB RAM, 4GB internal memory, and microSD card support (up to 128GB). It should be noted that HMD Global had said at the launch of Nokia 8110 in February, that the phone will support apps like Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, Google Assistant, and even the popular game Snake.
The phone was launched at a price of 79 Euros, which is around Rs 6,000 in India, and thus much more expensive than the Jio Phone 2. HMD Global has promised Nokia 8110 will be made available in India, though this has not happened so far.
The launch of apps like WhatsApp, Facebook on these budget smart feature phones could boost their use cases. In India, many users still cannot afford a smartphone, but a feature phone that could run WhatsApp might well be a game-changer.
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