Today was meant to be the introduction of Google’s first collaborative product with Jio, India’s largest mobile network. It’s the JioPhone Next, a low-cost 4G smartphone designed to provide more people in India’s mobile-first country access to the carrier’s high-speed network. However, the businesses have just stated that the smartphone’s release will be delayed by a few months.
The phone has made great progress according to the statement and is currently being tested with a small group of customers. Based on tester comments, they’ll make additional improvements as needed, with the goal of releasing it in time for the Diwali festival in early November.
While the firms did not elaborate on the cause for the delay, they did note that the extra time will assist in overcoming the present industry-wide, worldwide chip shortages. The global chip shortage, which was mostly caused by manufacturing stopping due to the COVID-19 epidemic, has had a significant impact on technology and auto firms all around the world. Due to the crisis, automakers such as Ford, BMW, Honda, and GM had to curtail and cease manufacturing. It’s also why Sony is still unable to produce larger numbers of the PS5 and why Apple’s iPhone 12 shipments have been delayed by a few weeks.
When Google bought a $4.5 billion interest in Jio last year in order to grow its position in India, the two companies announced that they would collaborate on low-cost phones. Any onscreen text, including text from messages, online pages, apps, and photographs, will be read aloud and translated automatically by the JioPhone Next. It’ll also reportedly come with a better camera than previous low-cost phones, one that supports HDR and can shoot low-light shots. In addition, Snapchat augmented reality lenses will be integrated into the camera, featuring India-centric effects. Users will also get the feature to ask Google Assistant to play music with the help of Saavn, which is a streaming service by Jio. They will also be able to check their balance on Jio’s payments app.