Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani launched Jio’s 4G LTE enabled feature phone– Jio Phone at an event in Mumbai last month. The phone is different than all other phones in its league as it packs the features of a smartphone in a feature phone. Some of the most noteworthy features of the Jio Phone include 4G VoLTE network, support for 22 Indian languages, support for apps like Jio TV and Jio Cinema, UPI integration, NFC connectivity and Facebook among others.
However, one feature that was missing from the device at the time of its launch was WhatsApp. The news was a major setback for the potential buyers given that a major segment of the country uses WhatsApp messenger to chat with their family and friends. But a new report suggests that the Reliance officials are in talks with the WhatsApp officials and chances are that both the companies might design a toned down version of the app.
According to Factor Daily, the officials from both the companies have met a couple of times but as of now, the discussions are at the preliminary stage. The primary technical challenge that the company is facing is that of the operating system. Jio Phone reportedly works on KaiOS, which is a forked version of Firefox operating system. This is posing a big problem as WhatsApp does not support KaiOS.
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Even though Jio has its own messaging app Jio Chat, but it is not as popular as WhatsApp, which has become a household name in the country ever since it was launched. Having said that, it’s important to note that if the deal ever works out, WhatsApp will have to design a specialised version of the app for the Jio, which in turn could prove to be a unique selling point for the device as against all other feature phones in the market.
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