Jio on Friday said the global semiconductor shortage had forced the company to postpone the launch of JioPhone Next, its debut 4G smartphone. Originally planned to launch on September 10, the JioPhone Next will instead become more widely available “in time for the Diwali festive season” which means sometime before November 4.
Mukesh Ambani had taken the wraps off JioPhone Next during Reliance Industries Limited’s 44th Annual General Meeting on June 24. The smartphone is being co-developed “closely” with Google and is part of the global search engine giant’s 33,737 crore investment in Jio Platforms.
Also Read | RIL AGM 2021: Mukesh Ambani announces ‘ultra-affordable’ JioPhone Next smartphone, Sundar Pichai says it’s built for India
“Both companies have begun testing JioPhone Next with a limited set of users for further refinement and are actively working to make it available more widely in time for the Diwali festive season,” Jio said in a statement sent over email, adding “this additional time will also help mitigate the current industry-wide, global semiconductor shortages.”
Several factors including pent-up demand, COVID-19-induced slowdowns, and sanctions against some key Chinese technology companies have all contributed to a global shortage of chipsets – the key component in electronic manufacturing. Qualcomm for instance, has been struggling to meet orders. Jio is yet to confirm the core hardware driving the JioPhone Next.
Also Read | JioPhone Next: A quick first look at Jio’s first 4G smartphone, features, availability and other details
Largely, the company has been hyping its software going so far as to call it “path breaking.” Jio and Google have previously confirmed the software experience in the JioPhone Next will focus on three aspects: localisation, cameras and push for latest Android features and security updates. More importantly, the software experience will be built for India keeping in mind the needs of millions of new users looking to experience the internet for the very first time.
The JioPhone Next is further said to bundle “cutting-edge” features like voice assistant, automatic read-aloud of screen text that will seemingly work with any text on the screen including web pages, apps, messages, and even photos, language translation, smart camera with augmented reality filters from Snapchat and HDR more, and more.