BENGALURU: World’s cheapest smartphone, JioPhone Next’s release in Indian markets has been delayed by some weeks, now slated to be available during Diwali in November due to the current semi-conductor shortage. Reliance Jio has confirmed that the budget smartphone expected to cost Rs 3,500 ($47) is undergoing trial-run for limited users and both Google, Reliance jio are actively working to make it more widely for the Diwali festive season. “The additional time will also help mitigate the current global industry-wide semi-conductor shortage,” Jio said in a statement.
Industry experts have cautioned that the chip shortage could hit the prices of medium to high-cost smartphones. “As such it is almost unviable for Jio to make a 4G smartphone available at the promised cost because the components have become more expensive since past few months. We saw the auto-industry already bearing the brunt of this shortage and now, the IT hardware is also facing the issues,” a telecom analyst said.
Jio and Google however announced that they have made considerable progress towards launching the much-awaited Google-Jio phone Next which will feature an optimized operating system based on Android and Play store. “The device and the operating system will offer premium capabilities that have until now been associated with most 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 updates and security features,” Jio said.
Google’s Country Head and Vice-President, Sanjay Gupta has earlier told this newspapper that the plan to build accessible smart phones is in full swing in partnership with Indian firms.