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Google and Jio delay their India smartphone launch

 

Credit: Google

The much-anticipated JioPhone Next, created by Google and India’s Jio Platforms to reach hundreds of millions of customers in the world’s second-largest internet market, will not be released on Friday, according to the Indian technological giant.

Jio Platforms said it has been testing the smartphone with a “small number of consumers for further refinement” and is “actively planning to make it available more widely” around the time of the Diwali festival in early November, according to a statement released just today.

The Indian company, which has over 400 million users and manages the world’s largest telecom network, blamed the launch delay on global semiconductor shortages, but claimed the extra two months “will” help.

The JioPhone Next smartphone, which was revealed in June, was set to go on sale on Friday. Neither company has offered any indication in recent days that the launch might have to be postponed.

“The companies remain committed to their vision of opening up new possibilities for millions of Indians, especially those who will experience the internet for the very first time,” the Indian firm said in a press statement.Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man and the chairman of Reliance Industries, which operates Jio Platforms, unveiling JioPhone Next at an event in June this year Image Credits: Jio Platforms

The JioPhone Next phone, which runs on a “extremely optimized Android” mobile operating system, is promoted as a “ultra-affordable 4G smartphone” to reach the roughly 300 million Indians who are still on slower networks. The two companies have stated that they intend to release the smartphone in more markets in the future.

The two companies announced the JioPhone Next will include a “quick, high-quality camera” that supports HDR and will be secured by the newest Android versions and security updates during an event in June. According to the two companies, it will come with a number of capabilities, including Read Aloud and Translate Now, which will work with any text on the phone screen, including web pages, apps, messages, and even photographs.

Analysts have predicted that the JioPhone Next, whose pricing and technical specs have yet to be released, could disrupt the world’s second-largest smartphone market and help the telecom network cement its supremacy in the country.

The smartphone is the newest product of the two companies’ relationship. Google invested $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms last year, and it was there that it first disclosed its plans to collaborate with the Indian telecom provider to produce low-cost smartphones. Facebook and a slew of other companies have invested in the Indian startup. Jio Platforms owns a variety of companies, including Jio Infocomm, which competes with Airtel and Vodafone Idea, and JioMart, which competes with Tata-owned BigBasket, SoftBank-backed Grofers, Amazon, and Walmart’s Flipkart.

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