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Google-Jio smartphone collaboration gets delayed

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: JioPhone Next, the much awaited smartphone being jointly developed by Google and Indian tech giant Jio Platforms, has missed its planned September 10th launch date, the Indian technology giant said Thursday midnight.

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The JioPhone Next is now scheduled for wide release around Diwali, which will take place in early November. The phone is currently in testing with a small number of users.

In a statement issued just now, Jio said it has been testing the smartphone with a “limited set of users for further refinement” and is “actively working to make it available more widely” around the time of Diwali festival, which is scheduled for early November.

The Indian firm, which operates the largest telecom network with over 400 million subscribers, blamed global semiconductor shortages for the launch delay and said it expects the additional two months “will” mitigate that. The delay is needed to give both companies more time to refine the device, and to navigate problems created by the global semiconductor shortage.

The phone is designed to be an affordable 4G smartphone to help the roughly 300 million Indian users currently on 2G networks upgrade to 4G. W

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Unveiled in June this year, JioPhone Next, was scheduled to launch on Friday. Neither of the firms had given any indication in recent days that they may have to postpone the launch. “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.

Last year, Google invested a $4.5 million investment in Jio as part of the collaboration. Reliance announced earlier this year that it’s shifting its retail business onto Google’s cloud infrastructure.

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