During the launch of the JioPhone, it was expected that the budget 4G phone would soon get popular apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook despite it not running on Android. But despite not having these apps, JioPhone was the bestselling feature phone in the fourth quarter of 2017.
The JioPhone runs on KaiOS, a web-based operating system designed for the JioPhone which has been forked from Firefox OS. While there has been no update from WhatsApp regarding an app for the JioPhone, its parent company Facebook has announced that it will launch one for it on 14 February.
Facebook has claimed that the app will benefit over 50 crore potential feature phone users in India. The app has been designed specially to work on the JioPhone, and has been optimised to support cursor function.
With this app, the JioPhone users will be able to access the Facebook News Feed and view photos. Additionally, the app will support push notifications, videos, and links to external content.
Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio, said, “JioPhone is the world’s most affordable smartphone built with transformational technology especially for Indians to migrate from a feature phone to a smartphone. As promised, JioPhone will be home to the world’s leading applications, starting with Facebook.”
Francisco Varela, Vice President of Mobile Partnerships, Facebook, said, “We are excited about our partnership with Jio and the opportunity to provide the best possible Facebook experience for millions of people using JioPhone.”