Jio Bharat 4G V2 and KaiOS

Posted by Tom Barrasso on

Reliance Jio might be replacing it’s KaiOS flagship, the JioPhone, with the more budget-friendly Jio Bharat 4G V2.

Why it matters? Reliance Jio’s JioPhone represents the vast majority of KaiOS devices globally. The latest model, the JioPhone Value, was released in Fall 2021. Back in 2019, more than 70 million JioPhones had been sold. Two years later in 2021, KaiOS announced that it had surpassed 150 million KaiOS-enabled devices.

By my estimates, the JioPhone still makes up well over half of all active KaiOS devices today. At Rs 999 ($12 USD), the lower-end Jio Bharat 4G V2 might replace the JioPhone in Jio’s lineup, designed for the 250 million Indian consumers transitioning from 2G to 4G.

About the Jio Bharat 4G

While it’s predecessor the JioPhone is a smart feature phone running KaiOS, the Jio Bharat 4G is a basic 4G feature phone running a Real-Time Operating System (RTOS). It comes with the following specifications:

  • 1.77-inch VGA screen
  • HD calling and Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
  • Front and rear 0.3 MP cameras
  • 1000 mAh battery
  • Pre-installed with apps including
    • JioSaavn (Music)
    • JioCinema
    • JioPay with Unified Payments Interface (UPI)
  • Supports 23 languages

Alongside the Jio Bharat 4G, Jio announced new plans includnig 14GB of data and unlimited voice calls for Rs 123 ($1.5 USD) for a month or Rs 1,234 ($15) for a year. This positions the Jio Bharat 4G below similar 2G competitors, making it an attractive option for the hundreds of millions of feature phone users.

What’s next for KaiOS?

Earlier this year, KaiOS announced a string of partnerships for subsidy locks and device financing designed to drive adoption across Africa. Although the 100M+ JioPhones sold in India won’t just disappear, Jio has effectively undercut their flagship device and over time India’s ccontribution to KaiOS demographics will continue to decrease.