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Friday, September 24, 2021

Explained: Why is the JioPhone Next delayed?

The launch of JioPhone Next, a collaboration between Reliance Jio and Google, has been delayed. What is this phone, and why the delay?

Written by Pranav Mukul , Edited by Explained Desk | New Delhi |
September 10, 2021 12:37:19 pm
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The launch of JioPhone Next, a smartphone out of the collaboration between Reliance Jio and Google, has been delayed by a few months on account of the semiconductor shortage and the two companies wanting to test the device further. Chip shortages, prevalent globally through the last year, have claimed several casualties across the smartphone and automobile industries.

What is the JioPhone Next?

JioPhone Next is a smartphone that will be powered by an optimised version of the Android Operating System, which includes features such as Google Assistant, automatic read-aloud and language translation for any on-screen text, a smart camera with India-centric filters. At the Reliance Industries annual general meeting June 24, the company’s Chairman Mukesh Ambani had said that JioPhone Next will be the “most affordable smartphone globally.”

Why the delay and when will it be launched?

In a joint statement Friday, Jio and Google 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.”

Why is the world facing a shortage of semiconductors?

The chips, or semiconductors, which are the brain-centre of any electronic technology, have become a rare commodity in the post-Covid era. Several large factories in places like South Korea and Taiwan have shut down, creating a huge pent-up demand that these foundries were unable to satisfy after opening up.

On the one hand, the pandemic caused a surge in demand for electronic devices such as smartphones, laptop, computers, etc. The manufacturing and logistical bottlenecks meant the situation was only exacerbated.

The shortage that began last year is expected to go on till 2022. To prevent a future situation like this, a number of companies are planning to reduce their dependence on only a few large factories that supply to the whole world.

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