Ever since it was launched, JioPhone has been making strides in the mobile industry. Challenging budget smartphones and other feature phones in India, JioPhone has managed to gain traction with its "essentially free" label and ultra-affordable tariffs. But it appears there's going to be a new reason to love JioPhone.
As per the new information unearthed by WABetaInfo, JioPhone could soon get WhatsApp support. The evidence pointing to this was found in the latest WhatsApp beta for Windows Phone 2.18.38, which mentioned about the "development of a new native KaiOS app."
JioPhone and many feature phones are powered by KaiOS. WhatsApp's arrival on the platform could be a boon for feature phone owners, as it is the most popular cross-platform messaging app in the world with more than 15 billion monthly users.
Neither Reliance Jio nor KaiOS has confirmed of any such plans. There's no clarity on when exactly WhatsApp will be available on JioPhones.
WhatsApp's arrival on KaiOS, if and when it happens, follows the lead of Facebook, which recently launched its app on JioPhone with support for push notifications and optimized to use the phone's cursor function.
Besides, Google had also released Google Assistant for the basic smart feature phone in December last year, making JioPhone more user-friendly. The digital assistant is available in Hindi and English languages, and users can make calls, browse the internet and listen to music with just voice commands.
JioPhone was launched in India in July last year. The handset can be bought with a down-payment of Rs 1,500, which will be refunded to customers after three years. The company provides free voice calls, unlimited data and access to native Jio apps for Rs 153 a month. With this smart feature phone, the company is targeting 50 crore Indians who still have feature phones without basic features like the internet.
In terms of specifications, JioPhone features a 2.4-inch QVGA display, a 2MP rear camera and a VGA front shooter. There's a 2,000mAh battery under the hood, and it is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Spreadtrum processor, 512MB RAM and 4GB storage with microSD card support.
The handset works only with a Jio SIM card, which provides 4G VoLTE access to users. The handset also has Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and NFC.