JioPhone Next launch delayed; to be available ahead of Diwali

Waiting for the launch of Reliance’s affordable upcoming smartphone – JioPhone Next? If so, there’s an important news that may disappoint you. Reliance Jio has officially delayed the launch of its ultra-affordable smartphone ‘JioPhone Next’. Although, the company had announced in June that the new, affordable JioPhone would launch on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi (September 10). The device will now be available “more widely” around the Diwali festive season, Reliance Jio announced late on Thursday.

Reliance released an official statement stating that the most awaited JioPhone Next, which was developed in partnership with Google, is currently in advanced trials. Both companies have begun testing the model with a limited set of users for further refinement. This year, Diwali is set on November 4, so, we can expect the phone to release by the end of October. The exact release date has not been revealed yet.

Reason behind the delay

The reason behind the delay is the ongoing global semiconductor shortage, which has impacted video game consoles, automobile, smartphone, among other industries. Several factors including pent-up demand, Covid-induced slowdowns, and sanctions against some key Chinese technology companies have contributed to a shortage of chipsets, which is the key component in electronic manufacturing. The shortage had forced Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries to postpone the launch of its debut 4G smartphone, ‘JioPhone Next’. Jio, in a statement, says “this additional time will also help mitigate the current industry-wide, global semiconductor shortages.”

As per the reports, Reliance was aiming to place an order of 5 million units, of which the initial part has gone to UTL Neolync, which it expects to bring to the market over six months, but the chip supply shortage may affect its plans.

JioPhone Next – Features

Designed in partnership with Google, JioPhone Next is a 4G smartphone that offers features like automatic read-aloud of screen text language translation, voice assistant, smart camera with augmented reality filters, and much more. It is a “first-of-its-kind” device that features an optimized operating system based on Android and Play Store.

In a press note, Reliance said, “The device and the operating system will offer premium capabilities that have until now been associated with more powerful smartphones, including voice-first features that enable people to consume content and navigate the phone in their own language, deliver a great camera experience, and get the latest Android feature and security updates.”

The phone has an HDR mode and Snapchat Lenses, which is directly accessible from the camera of the phone. One will also see an option to change the language of the device’s content with just a tap of a button. Powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 chipset, users will get an 8GB of inbuilt storage that can be expanded up to 256GB via micro SD card. With this device, Jio is aiming to attract more 2G subscribers and offer an entry-level smartphone at an affordable price range.

JioPhone Next – Expected Price

Although, the company hasn’t yet revealed the price and availability details of ‘JioPhone Next’, but leaks and rumors circulating online suggest the price to be around Rs 3,999 in India. More details will likely to be revealed ahead of Diwali.

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