Jio was launched two years ago to empower every Indian with the power of data. In less than two years, Jio garnered a subscriber base of over 215 million users, creating a world record of sorts.
While it was evident that most of the 4G smartphone users were adopting Jio and enjoying the world-class services at the lowest price anywhere in the world, a large majority of the feature phone users that constitute two-third of the Indian mobile user base were being left out.
Even though the services became affordable, this segment of 500 million feature phone users could not afford even an entry level 4G smartphone. This gave birth to the JioPhone, which was launched by Reliance Retail Ltd in August 2017.
Mr. Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, said, “During this movement of connecting the unconnected, many partners came forward to strengthen the cause. One such partner who has really stood by us from the beginning is Facebook and its ecosystem. The result of one such partnership is out for the world to see today. We will be providing WhatsApp, the most used chat application in the world, on all JioPhones starting today. Jio wants to thank the Facebook and WhatsApp team for making this happen.”
After successful completion of the trials, for the first time, WhatsApp will be available for JioPhone across India. WhatsApp built a new version of its private messaging app for JioPhone, running the Jio-KaiOS, to give people a simple, reliable, and secure way to communicate with friends and family.
The new app offers the best of WhatsApp including fast and reliable messaging and the ability to send photos and videos — all end-to-end encrypted. It is also easy to record and send voice messages with just couple taps on the keypad. To get started, JioPhone users only need to verify their phone number and then they can begin chatting with other WhatsApp users one-on-one or in groups.
“Millions of people across India can now use WhatsApp private messaging on the best-in-class JioPhone across India,” said Mr. Chris Daniels, Vice President, WhatsApp. “By designing this new app for KaiOS, we hope to expand the ability for people to communicate with anyone in India and around the world by offering the best messaging experience possible to JioPhone users.”
WhatsApp will be available on the JioPhone AppStore starting 10th September, 2018 and will be rolled out on all JioPhones by 20th September, 2018
On being made available on the JioPhone, users can download WhatsApp on both the JioPhone and the JioPhone 2 by visiting the AppStore and clicking on download.
Reliance Retail has created a special helpline number ‘1991’ to answer queries on the JioPhone.