It was widely reported earlier that Google has stepped into the feature phone market by launching the WizPhone Wp006 in Indonesia, priced at IDR 99,000, equivalent to Rs.500. The WizPhone WP006 is a 4G feature phone which runs on Kai OS.
But the catch is, Google didn’t launch the phone nor Google owns the WizPhone brand or even had involvement in developing or manufacturing the phone.
What made this news go viral was caused by this tweet:
The Kai team is at #GoogleForIndonesia in Jakarta where Google just announced the new US$7 (!!) WizPhone that runs on KaiOS. Another amazing addition to the growing line up of @KaiOStech-powered devices! pic.twitter.com/xuZJ4HWRKo
— KaiOS Technologies (@KaiOStech) December 4, 2018
That gave wrong impression that Google announced the WizPhone, as if Google themselves launched it. Google did took part in the launch of the phone and they did announce it jointly, but that was about the Google Assistant and the whole suite of Google Apps inclusion in the phone.
Also, take a look on Google’s Indonesian blog post here. What it says is:
WizPhone is the first Indonesian-made mobile phone equipped with Google Assistant. Created jointly by WizPhone and Alfamart, WizPhone uses KaiOS.
Also, KaiOS said this in its blog post.
“Google has also been instrumental in this launch by ensuring their digital services operate on the WizPhone via the KaiStore, so consumers have access to a suite of Google apps, including the Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Search. Further, the Google Assistant works in Bahasa Indonesia, bridging the digital divide by allowing users to easily access the internet and apps through voice,”
So you can see, the phone is clearly not made by Google, it’s just a phone that Google had involvement in, but not the type of involvement that everyone reported it to be having.
The WizPhone is similar to the JioPhone one, which also runs on Kai OS and supports 4G. While the Jiophone costs nearly Rs.1500, the WizPhone is priced very much cheaper than that.
The WizPhone WP006 features a 2.4-inch display and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8905 processor paired with an Adreno 304 GPU. It comes with 512MB of RAM along with 4GB of internal storage. There is a 2MP camera in the rear and a VGA camera in the front for video calling. The device draws it’s juice from a 1,800mAh battery.
It comes with Google services like Google Assistant, Google Maps, Google Search and others pre-installed. As said in the beginning, it also supports popular apps such as Whatsapp, Facebook, Youtube and so on. It must also be noted that Google has made investments into KaiOS, which indicates that Google is really preparing to make some moves in the 4G smart feature phone market.