Reliance JioPhone, the feature phone from the company, might soon support WhatsApp, which is one of the most popular messaging apps in the Indian market. Earlier reports have also indicated that WhatsApp will try and launch a version for the JioPhone, and according to a new report byWABetaInfo, a version of the app for KaiOS, which powers the JioPhone will be out soon. Facebook has already a version of its app for the JioPhone, which has become one of the most popular devices in the market given its budget pricing. JioPhone has an effective price of Rs zero, though there is a refundable deposit of Rs 1500 involved.
As per claims made by WABetaInfo, references to a native KaiOS app have been found in the latest WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone 2.18.38. This is a clear indication that WhatsApp support for the KaiOS is being planned. It should be noted that neither Reliance Jio nor WhatsApp has confirmed the news.
Interestingly, KaiOS Technologies recently had inked partnerships with major Silicon Valley behemoths, including Facebook (also owns WhatsApp), Google, Qualcomm, Twitter and more. The announcement was made during the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) last month. KaiOS is a Linux-based mobile operating system that mostly powers feature phones.
It will not be a huge surprise to see if the JioPhone gains WhatsApp support in the coming days. After all, the JioPhone is the most popular feature phone on the market today. According to a CMR report, Reliance JioPhone was the top-selling feature phone in the fourth quarter of last year. WhatsApp support for the JioPhone is the most-requested feature consumers wish to see on the phone. The 4G feature recently gained support for Google Assistant, a voice-powered assistant similar to Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. An official app for Facebook for the JioPhone was also announced as well.
Reliance JioPhone is an advanced 4G feature phone which made its debut at the company’s AGM meeting on July 21 last year. JioPhone will effectively be “free” at a deposit of Rs 1,500 which is refundable after three years, when users return the JioPhone. Reliance JioPhone users can recharge with Rs 49 prepaid pack which offers free voice calls, along with 1GB data for 28 days. More recharge offers exclusive to Jio include that of Rs 153, which gives 1GB data per day for 28 days and two sachet packs. Sachet pack of Rs 24 (valid for 2 days) and Rs 54 (valid for 7 days) offer 500MB internet per day.