The launch of the much-awaited JioPhone Next has been delayed and is now expected to be launched for the Diwali festive season, Reliance Jio and Google said in a statement on Thursday midnight. This most affordable 4G made-for-India smartphone is being developed jointly by Jio and Google.
Reliance Industries’ chairman Mukesh Ambani had earlier announced in the company’s annual general meeting in June that the phone will be launched on September 10, the day of Ganesh Chaturthi. However, the company in its Friday statement said, “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. This additional time will also help mitigate the current industry-wide, global semiconductor shortages”.
JioPhone Next is a first-of-its-kind device featuring an optimised 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 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.
In terms of the features, the phone is built with exciting features like the Google Assistant, automatic read-aloud and language translation for any on-screen text, a smart camera with India-centric filters and much more.
“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 statement said.
Though the price of the affordable smartphone is yet to be revealed, it is expected to be within the Rs 5,000 bracket. Ambani had said that he was hopeful that with the launch of the phone the 300 million subscribers who are still on 2G feature phones would migrate to 4G services.
Through its earlier JioPhone which was not exactly a smartphone but offered some features which conventional feature phones do not offer, Jio was able to ramp up its subscriber base substantially. Analyst maintain that an affordable smartphone would not only help Jio garner more subscribers but also help improve its average revenue per user.